The Liberal and National Parties have taken over $80 million in corporate donations since 2012.
This money has come from some of our most powerful businesses, like Westpac and Woodside, and our most influential industries, like property developers, professional lobbyists and the coal and gas industry.
These companies donate for a reason: favourable policy decisions. While the major parties continue to take money from big corporate interests, they will never be completely focused on what is good for Australian communities.
These are the industries seeking to influence the policy decisions of the Liberal and National parties:
|Banking and Finance Industry||$33,803,653|
|Developers and Property Industry||$15,589,093|
|Energy and Resource Companies||$9,201,693|
|Private Health Industry||$6,363,000|
|Food and Agriculture||$6,144,699|
|Hotels, Clubs and Alcohol||$5,237,309|
|Retail and Services Sector||$3,656,528|
|Media and Communications||$3,649,757|
|Manufacturing and Heavy Industry||$3,646,207|
|Consultancies and Law Firms||$1,025,937|
|Tobacco and Firearms||$334,174|
And that’s what we know about
The vast majority of money received by the Liberal and National parties is Dark Money: secret money from untracable sources which the party is able to avoid reporting on.
There are three big problems with dark money.
- Loopholes in our donations laws allow the major parties to claim money received as “other receipts”, because it isn’t a ‘gift’, it is a contractual exchange such as a $10,000 a head ‘business lunch’ with lobbyists and industry.
- Major parties employ sneaky tactics to hide the source of donations – like using a political front group (like the Cormack Foundation) to host fundraising events. The corporate donor pays the front group and the front group then pays the political party to “wash the donations” and hide the influential donor.
- Our lax donation laws allow donors to split donations between state and federal entities below the $13,500 donation cap. That means over $100,000 can be donated each year without disclosure. If it’s below the disclosure limit, then the AEC has no legal power to investigate it.
All of these tactics are employed to make it as difficult as possible for anyone to work out where the money – money that’s intended to influence political decisions – came from.
Liberal/Nationals top corporate donors since 2012:
|1||Westpac Banking Corporation||13,903,125||Banking and Finance Industry||2012 - 2018|
|2||National Australia Bank||5,165,028||Banking and Finance Industry||2012 - 2018|
|3||Village Roadshow Limited||1,550,923||Media and Communications||2012 - 2018|
|4||Pratt Holdings Pty Ltd||1,375,000||Manufacturing and Heavy Industry||2012 - 2016|
|5||Hong Kong Kingson Investments||1,350,000||Developers and Property Industry||2013 - 2016|
|6||Macquarie Group Limited||1,234,670||Banking and Finance Industry||2012 - 2018|
|7||Manildra Group||1,187,424||Food and Agriculture||2012 - 2018|
|8||AUS GOLD MINING GROUP PTY LTD||1,127,894||Energy and Resource Companies||2015 - 2018|
|9||PricewaterhouseCoopers||1,008,968||Government Contractors||2012 - 2018|
|10||Australian Hotels & Hospitality Association||965,469||Hotels, Clubs and Alcohol||2012 - 2018|