Below is a summary of the major political donors to the Queensland ALP in 2000-01 – an election year. We’re keen for your feedback as to what they all got in return for the donation and how it came about. And below the list is the story about the donations run by the Courier Mail on February 2.
Nifty Neville Wran is on the board along with former Brisbane Mayor Sally-Anne Atkinson and Kennett government education minister Don Haywood so this outfit really knows how to get the development wheels turning.
ABN AMRO MORGAN $5000
Former Morgan Stockbroking principle Paul Porky Morgan died last year but his firm was taken over by the Dutch a few years back and they’ve been busily spreading the largesse around and are particularly strong in Queensland. Porky has not been involved for several years so maybe the current boss Tim Crommelin can explain what they got in return for their cash.
ACCOUNTING AND AUDITING SOLUTIONS $10,000
Anyone got any ideas on this mob.
ADLER CORPORATION $5000
Well who would have thought such a high profile backer of the Liberal Party in Rodney Adler would end up giving some of his private cash to the Queensland Labor Party. We do have a picture of Rodney smiling Michael Kroger at some black tie gig. Rodney needs all his cash at the moment with HIH exploding. Maybe the $5000 helped the rather large HIH third party insurance business in Queensland which left taxpayers with a $400 million bailout after HIH fell over.
Queensland has more land clearing than other jurisdiction in the world at the moment and one of the biggest offenders is AMP Stanbroke Pastoral company so it comes as no surprise that the donations are flowing. Surprised it wasn’t bigger.
ANZ Stadium may be no more but the ANZ have been very naughty boys with their cowboy lending practices on the Gold Coast but this hasn’t stopped Beattie introducing new legislation to stamp out dodgy parallel marketing of property loans. State Premiers can often be heavy bank bashers over branch closures and Queensland were always a bank favourite by not having the lamentable FID taxes.
These developers are controlled by the Singapore government and their chairman James Service described Paul Keating’s call for a ban on develop donations as “ridiculous” at the last AGM when Crikey raised the issue. Australand has built thousands of apartments on the Queensland coast and therefore need to stay sweet with Labor which tends to control the key councils.
The gas and electricity giant is well disposed towards Labor. Must be their attempts to get some PNG to Gladstone gas pipeline up one day or perhaps it is their involvement in the new Millmerran gas power station?
BAULDERSTONE HORNIBROOK $12,200
Big German construction company in a fast growing state, of course they are going to grease the wheels of power so they’ll be looked on favourably at the next tender.
BRITISH AMERICA TOBACCO AUSTRALASIA $11,500
Now why would a company chaired by former NSW Liberal Premier Nick Greiner do this? Could it be for tobacco sponsorship at Indy on the Gold Coast. Given that smoking is banned in NSW clubs and pubs, other states are looking to follow suit, much to the horror of the completely foreign-owned $5 billion Aussie tobacco industry.
BUNDABERG SUGAR $6,500
The annual sugar burn remains one of Australia’s great environmental disasters so it comes as no surprise that the sugar industry would throw cash at the lame regulators of their recklessness.
CITY LODGE MOTEL $25,000
These guys are owned by the Pradella Group who are some prominent Italian developers on the Gold Coast.
COLES MYER $7000
Queensland remains in the dark ages on shop trading hours as Coles is not allowed to trade on Sunday. The supermarket chains have also been buying up Queensland pubs lately because supermarkets can’t sell grog. This is probably a frustrated $7000 investment in the future rather than any thank you payment.
COOMERA RESORT AND TOWN CENTRE MANAGEMENT $20,000
A subscriber writes:
“Coomera is located about 15 minutes north of Southport, and is where Dreamworld, Movieworld and Wet and Wild are located. There is also a decent marine industry centre. Anyway, there have been all sorts of shannegans about the building of a major shopping centre out there. There should be no problems at all, except that Lang Corp (might not be them) have their new Harbour Town shopping centre and mega-outlet mall just down the road at Biggera Waters. There has been major lobbying from both parties – Harbour Town don’t want the competition of another major shopping centre going in 2 suburbs away. The population out there is pretty thin, although growing, and the area would have trouble sustaining 2 mega malls. Also the fact that the development is to be called Coomera Town Centre makes me think that it is probably the same people who built the Robina Town Centre, which despite looking lovely has all sorts of problems with solvency, due to similar problems with thin local populations.”
CS FIRST BOSTON $7,500
Collected about $80 million flogging Victoria’s energy assets and would love to do the same in Queensland.
With the Queensland building boom CSR is making truckloads in banana country and you also have the old sugar burn issue so CSR is getting plenty of bang for the buck.
FORRESTER KURTS PROPERTIES
These guys also pump plenty of cash into Brisbane Lord Mayor Jim Soorley’s election funds and they tend to have a good deal of success getting their numerous development projects approved.
FOXLEIGH JOINT VENTURE $10,000
Clearly there would have been some government approvals for the following:
“Coal production at Foxleigh’s opencut coal mine in the Bowen Basin is achieving its anticipated production rate of two million tonnes per annum, with the potential to increase to three million tonnes per annum in the near future. The mine is owned by the Foxleigh Joint Venture and is mined by Thiess Pty Ltd in partnership with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commercial Development Corporation under a Life of Mine contract. Coal production at the new site began in January 2000, less than two years after the first exploration holes were drilled. The record mine construction schedule included over 16km of haul road and six kilometres of access road and was completed in less than 50 days. A key initiative of the Foxleigh project is the relationship between Thiess and CDC. The two organisations have joined forces to maximise training and employment opportunities for indigenous people residing in the surrounding community and have already put to good use the $1.6 million allocated by the Foxleigh Joint Venture for training programs. These programs focus on equipping indigenous people with nationally recognised qualifications in the Black Coal Training Packages.”
GOLD COAST OLYMPIC CAFE $10,000
Sounds like one of Graham Richardson’s Greek mates on the Gold Coast but can anyone help with the personalities involved. Any white shoes?
HARTLEY POYNTON $19,858 non-donation
Hard to work out what a Perth-based broker is doing handing this sort of largesse around but maybe it was the tail end of the dotcom boom which had plenty of Queensland players and which Hartleys were at the sharp end of.
INALA PLAZA $10,000
Probably another developer special with an investment in 7-day trading thrown in for good measure. They are one of Brisbane’s biggest shopping centres and want to expand.
INSANE MEDIA $11,600
Brisbane porn king Greg Lasrado is behind this outfit. Google throws up this interesting discussion board
It would be interesting to know what Labor did to deserve this. Are they tolerating the porn industry more than before?
JB WERE $31,068 non-disclosure
Can’t be the TAB float because the House of Were refuse to be involved with gambling offerings and it does seem unusual that an establishment and conservative Melbourne-based broker would have such large sums next to their name.
JOHN BUDD $30,000 non-donation
See the Courier Mail story below.
LEIGHTON HOLDINGS $10,000
Wal King’s German controlled group is easily Australia’s biggest developer so throwing a lazy 10k at a state government doesn’t even get on the radar. Would be nice to get a list of projects they’ve won from the Beattie government all the same. Leighton won the tender to build the “Goodwill” Pedestrian Bridge across the Brisbane River which blew out on time and money massively, embarrassing Premier Beattie. The money might be an apology.
LEND LEASE $10,000
Kawana Waters between Mooloolaba and Caloundra is one huge environmental disaster and Lend Lease has been developing it profitably for almost two decades such that it will soon be its own state seat. The people who saved Noosa from greedy developers site Kawana Waters as an example of the disaster that could have happened. A reflection of the quality Lend Lease product is the fact that One Nation polled about 20 per cent in Kawana Waters at the last election.
LEWIS LAND $20,000
Land requires government approval to be developed but we’d like to name the specific approvals granted in this case to explain one of the larger donations.
LION NATHAN $10,000
We all know Labor and the Dems got together to roll the government’s proposed beer tax increase and the cash has been flowing liberally back to both parties over the past 18 months as a thank you.
M WHITTON $20,000
All tips gratefully received.
MACQUARIE BANK $12,200
Poor old Macquarie got into a slanging match with Queensland Premier Peter Beattie when the TAB float was pulled back in 1998 and Australia’s biggest millionaire factory has been working hard to get back into the good books since then. Macquarie love a good tollroad project but Queensland has been a bit slow on this front in recent years so Macquarie has had to content themselves with ripping of the NSW and Victorian governments instead.
MARK BUCKNELL SOLICITORS $27,597
Probably a Labor lawyer but would appreciate any details. Might be a Max Markson laundering arrangement where he just collects the cash at fundraisers. A subscriber has written that Labor MP Gordon Nuttall leased an office in Sandgate at public expense. He has now moved and Bucknell has taken up residence there. A very odd amount and large for a small time local solicitor. Could almost be rent?
MARKETPLACE COMMUNICATIONS $21,770 non-donation
Marketplace Communications’ website describes their business as “integrated marketing” and indicates that the spin attack comprises Patrick McGuire (ex-Director of Qld Premier’s Dept) and Robert Allen (ex-journo and Chief of Staff to Sallyanne Atkinson).
Patrick McGuire founded Marketplace Communications in 1987 after leaving the State Government where he was a Director in the Premier’s Department responsible for advertising and marketing campaigns. His website claims he is a man capable of thinking “outside the square”.
Together these boys have worked for lots of the big developers so they just look your typical well-connected door-opening outfit that has fed free services to Labor to make sure the doors keep opening.
MARLEY ACCOMMODATION CENTRES $10,000
Land, buildings, permits, approvals. Usual guff.
Big players on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane so comes as no surprise that these prolific apartments developers are slinging cash into the political system.
No clues at this point. Can anyone help out?
Kerry Packer’s favourite construction firm which is run by Perth rough nut John Roberts, who is described by Graham Richardson as “my only mate with a quid”. Multiplex are in thick with Labor across the country. They were huge players with Brian Burke in WA Inc and scored the Olympic Stadium construction contract from the Carr government. What’s been the payback in Queensland for Multiplex? The $200 million Lang Park construction contract dished out recently by the government is probably a good start.
SOUTH QUEENSLAND PRODUCE $20,733 non-disclosure
Probably just free food for a few Labor fundraisers.
Big shopping centre and apartment developers so with everyone else giving to Labor Irvin Graf’s team have to follow suit.
Tabcorp got completely shafted in Queensland so they are absent but their Victorian cousins have dipped their toe in the water as they try to further break into Australia’s second biggest pokies market after NSW.
THIESS CONTRACTORS $10,000
Leighton Holdings chairman Tim Besley finds political donations questions at the AGM quite awkward so they spread it around their different subsidiaries such as Thiess to make it look a bit more subtle but we’re onto them.
The Courier Mail are onto this one. These boys won the Brisbane airport rail link contract and have kicked back a fraction of their profit margin to the party which awarded the contract. Whoops, did I say that? Transfield are contributing to the democratic process.
VILLAGE ROADSHOW/WARNER BROS MOVIE WORLD $3,700 non-donations
Village have given $3 million to the Libs over the past 5 years and clearly have no such plans to buy influence off Queensland Labor even though Sea World and Movie World are big Gold Coast operations.
Voxson is a large national telecommunications and electronics manufacturer which has its base it Brisbane so it would be interesting to know if they got any government concessions. The share price has performed terribly and they are developing a much-delayed mobile phone network.
If Paul Keating got his way these developers would be banned from this practice.
WESTFIELD $4,400 non-disclosure
Frank Lowy gave hundreds of thousands personally this year but his company still attended a couple of Queensland fundraisers.
Courier Mail summary of the donations
THE Queensland Labor Party fought last year’s state election with an $8.3 million warchest gathered from trade unions and big business.
By contrast the Liberal and National parties received just $2.8 million and $2.7 million respectively during the financial year, which included the February 17 state poll.
Annual funding disclosure figures published by the Australian Electoral Commission have shown the state ALP’s income for the year included $3.2 million from receipts of $1500 or more.
Queensland Labor finance companies, Labor Resources and Labor Holdings, tipped $2.5 million into party coffers.
The party also received more than $1 million in donations and party affiliation from trade unions, with the largest contributor being the Australian Workers Union, which paid almost $300,000.
Corporate Australia also threw its support behind the Beattie Government.
Engineering group Transfield Pty Ltd, joint developer of Brisbane’s troubled AirTrain service, donated $30,000, as did the Robina Land Corporation.
Labor’s other major corporate donors were Mark Bucknell Solicitors ($27,597), City Lodge Motel ($25,000), Coca-Cola Amatil ($25,000) and the Walter Construction Group ($20,000).
The Liberal Party’s total receipts were $2.8 million, outpointing its Coalition partner, the National Party, by about $100,000.
The Liberals took $1.2 million in donations and receipts above $1500, while the figure was just $915,000 for the Nationals.
The Liberal Party’s largest source of income was $341,000 in public electoral funding paid after the state election.
Brisbane businessmen David and Konrad Lin contributed $62,000 between them to the Liberals while Murrarie Industrial Developments was the next highest contributor with $20,000.
The National Party also relied heavily on funding distributed by the Electoral Commission of Queensland, drawing $354,000 in public funds.
The Nationals’ fundraising divisions – the Bjelke-Petersen Foundation and 6 St Paul’s Terrace Trust – contributed $275,000 to the party’s election effort.
The Nationals’ largest corporate donors were Australian Capital Equity ($30,000), Coca-Cola Amatil ($25,000) and Barrier Reef Motors, the Gandel Group and King Fisher Investments ($20,000 each).
Labor’s receipts for the year also included $30,000 recovered from sacked party operative John Budd, who misused money from the Bowman electorate campaign fund.