The Greens are leading the campaign to reform electoral funding laws because we believe corporate donations taint the democratic process – they allow big business to buy a level of access to politicians that ordinary people can’t afford.
History of the Democracy for Sale project
The Democracy for Sale project began as an initiative of former Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon. In 2002 Lee’s office began a small research project to create a easily searchable database to identify donors and analyse what influence donations were having on the political process.
Because the AEC has never been given money by governments to allow the public to navigate the labyrinth of forms on the AEC website, the Greens built the Democracy for Sale website to create searchable database, where donors are sorted by donor industry category.
Although details of donations have been available from the AEC since 1998, it was only with the establishment of the Greens’ Democracy for Sale research project in 2001 that the public could readily access information on the quantity of money coming from individual donors and from categories of donors such as property developers, the finance sector, clubs and hotels.
This website has proved to be an invaluable tool for journalists, community groups and concerned individuals wanting to highlight the impact of political donations on the democratic process.
This site and project is managed by Greens spokesperson for democracy, Senator Larissa Waters.
A big thank you to volunteers
Many volunteers and staff have put in thousands of hours work on this project including Susie Gemmell, Alison Orme, Jemma Bailey, James Bourne, Linda Wilhelm, Richard Morrell, Norman Thompson, Ben Raue, Anne MacArthur, Brett Smith, Corey Birtles, Daryl Davies, Elaine Johnson, George Carrard, Jake Chivers, Lyndal Halliday, Marc Rerceretnam, Michelle Loh, Paul Gross, Stefan Jarnason, Susan Meyer, Liam McGillicuddy, Helen McCuthcheon, Brendan Manning, Bjorn Wallin, Maddy Williams, Rene Ribic, Ben Moroney, Declan Watson, Vanamali Hermans, Brendan Wylie, Georgia Delgado, Hira Fatima, and Ryan Leyden. Without the commitment and enthusiasm of these people who so generously donated their expertise and time, this important project could never have come to fruition.
The site will continue to be updated as new data is released by the AEC and with more dirty deals exposing the influence of big money over political decisions. We’re working hard to increase the number of categorised donors to near 100% and are committed to ensuring this resource be made available for all to use. Feel free to keep in touch!
Please feel free to contact Senator Larissa Waters’ office with any questions or corrections to the data.
Phone: 07 3367 0566