Federal

Feb 1, 2018

Inside the (notably low) numbers of today’s political donations dump

In an off-year electorally, the political parties had a record low in donors, as business drifts away from giving money to politicians.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

The lack of elections and the growing reluctance of business to donate to political parties saw a big fall in political donations in 2016-17, with public funding the biggest source of revenue for the major parties, according to today's annual political donation data release.

The data, released under the Commonwealth's antiquated donation disclosure laws, shows just 205 donors contributed to political parties in 2016-17 -- the lowest number since the Howard government lifted the reporting threshold to reduce transparency in the mid-2000s, and nearly half the 396 donors in 2015-16. With only the West Australian election falling fully within the reporting year (the 2016 federal election was held on July 2; the ACT also had an election), the parties were more focused on paying off previous election debts with taxpayer funding. And foreign donors almost entirely disappeared, with only longstanding donor Chau Chak Wing's Hong Kong Kingson making an appearance.

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5 comments

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5 thoughts on “Inside the (notably low) numbers of today’s political donations dump

  1. klewso

    Tuppence with his “lazy 1.75 mill”? ….. Karaoke night down at the local – “It’s My Party and I’ll lie if I want to….”?

  2. AR

    How disrespectful of the electorate is this post dated ‘cheque’?
    It is an affront to any notion of accountability.
    It is impossible to prevent covert or illicit payments but expenditure is about being out in public, loudly & bigly in yer face.
    Easy to tax expenditure.

  3. bref

    Liberal/National $107m. (Packer $500k, Ausgold $366k, Burnewang Pastoral $200k, Wesfarmers $150k)
    Labor $71m. (The Shoppies $250k, CFMEU $132k, United Voice $370k)
    The libs love to denigrade labor for being ‘owned’ by the unions, but it pales in comparison to the libs/nats being utterly owned by the corporates.

    1. Itsarort

      Agreed. Interesting how the Libs and Nats donation’s were split when we know that without their coalition, they couldn’t win a chook raffle. Coalition donations equal $107M as you rightly stated.

      1. bref

        Add to that that the unions, as much as the lib/nats hate them, are ‘of the people’. The membership know where their contributions go. Corporations don’t give a bugger about the society they reside in and cynically donate the most to those who’ll ultimately benefit their bottom line the most.

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