As we gear up for the election campaign, our opaque donation disclosure system means that we are still only just finding out about donations made in elections that happened two years ago. In a disclosure made to the Australian Electoral Commission last month, the Construction Forestry, Mining and Energy Union declared that it had made a $55,000 donation to the Victorian branch of the ALP on October 31, 2014 — a month before the poll that brought Labor leader Daniel Andrews to power, kicking out a one-term Liberal government. While more than a few months overdue, the revelation comes at a bad time for Andrews, who is being accused of capitulating to the United Firefighters Union over transferring power away from volunteer firefighters. Just to show it’s not merely unionists who have bad memories when it comes to donations, Novartis Pharmaceuticals also revealed more than $100,000 worth of donations to both the Liberal and Labor parties in the 2014-15 financial year.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey