Politicians from both sides have railed against the practice but there is no ban in the federal sphere

More than a decade ago, in the relatively benign setting of the ACT’s local parliament, a politician stood up to deliver a stirring speech on what he described as an “insidious undermining” of democracy.

He spoke of a deep imbalance in the political process. One that allowed governments to misuse and weaponise their access to the vast public resources of the state to boost their own political prospects.

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