At first glance the political donation data from 2015-16 -- finally released this morning under under antediluvian Commonwealth disclosure laws -- suggest that the major political parties are finding it increasingly difficult to attract money, especially compared with the 2013 election. And while there's some evidence that business and individuals are shying away from donations, much of that is down to the frustrating vagaries of our reporting system.
Take the Liberal Party. At both state and federal level, the Liberals secured just over $80 million in revenue in 2015-16. That includes $14.7 million for the federal party, $21 million for the NSW branch and around $13.8 million each for the Victorian Liberals and the Liberal National Party in Queensland. In 2014-15, the party altogether had just under $76 million in revenue. So in a year in which both the NSW and federal Liberal branches faced elections, it garnered only $4 million more in revenue. In 2013-14, the party's global revenue was even bigger -- $125 million.