All this talk about the Labor Party
being destroyed by factionalism and being unelectable at a federal
level belies one key fact – the union-ALP political coalition is an
almighty $500 million political conglomerate that is just one election
away from wiping their conservative opponents off the map in every
Australian jurisdiction.

Today’s front page story in The Australian
about Macquarie Bank bidding to pay $25 million for Currawong, the
waterfront retreat owned by Unions NSW, is just the latest nugget that
confirms the huge financial and organisational advantage enjoyed by the
unions-ALP coalition.

Only last year, the Federal ALP pocketed
more than $30 million from the sale of the notorious Centenary House.
And in 1997, the NSW Labor Council sold 2KY to the state-owned NSW TAB
in a deal worth $28 million over 14 years. Check out the 2001 NSW Labor
Council annual report to see how little financial information is disclosed about how the cash from this deal flows.

The AFR‘sMark
Ludlow had a terrific story last February revealing that the Queensland
ALP was sitting on an investment fund called Labor Holdings which was
worth more than $100 million.

Labor’s Queensland investment guru
Ian Brusasco revealed that the Commonwealth Bank had delivered $24
million of the $72 million in dividends received by Labor Holdings
since it sold radio station 4KQ for $16.5 million in 1986. It is fair
to assume that Labor in Queensland alone could now be sitting on more
than $150 million given the continuing market boom that has seen CBA
shares soar another 22% to record highs over the past year.

Is
anyone else outraged that our local kinder has to tell the Victorian
Government what we’re worth each year, but the most powerful political
party in the country can accumulate an unprecedented war chest and keep
it completely secret?

Given that the union movement has a 50%
gerrymander over the ALP, which is unprecendented anywhere else in the
developed world, Australia’s accounting standards would require them to
release a consolidated balance sheet. This is where the $500 million
guesstimate comes from.

Labor has close to 500 MPs across the
country, about double what the Coalition has, plus several hundred more
councillors in local government. It is an unparalleled political
machine that receives an average of more than $20 million in public
funding from Australian taxpayers each year.

How they get away
with not revealing their balance sheets is just remarkable. If anyone
can offer up a reason, or some further insights into the finances of
the different unions and ALP divisions which make up the conglomerate,
drop a line to [email protected]

Peter Fray

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