While the CFMEU gave most of its political donations to the Labor Party, there were a few donations made to the Australian Recreational Fishers Party, which received just three donations — all from trade unions. The CFMEU’s national, Victorian and Tasmanian branches donated $25,000 each, while the Electrical Trades Union donated $25,000. So what’s the connection? Are tradies keen fishers? The party was set up last year by Kevin Harkins — a former disendorsed Labor candidate and CFMEU official — to fight fishing trawlers in Australian waters. Preferences from the party helped Labor over the line in two lower house seats in Tasmania, but after the election Harkins said the party directed preferences in that direction based on Labor’s policies against super-trawlers.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey