Western Australia mining
(Image: AAP/Alan Porritt)

Fossil fuel companies and climate denialists have pumped at least $57 million into Australian politics in the last twenty years using our lax political donation laws, and the figure is likely significantly higher.

The Australian Electoral Commission's recently overhauled register of donation disclosures now allows compilation of donations data back to 1998-99, although data for 2018-19, which covers last year's election, won't be available until February.

The available data is only a subset of financial contributions made to political parties: under Commonwealth law, financial contributions made in exchange for goods or services -- such as a seat at a table to lobby a minister at a party fundraiser -- do not need to be disclosed by donors.