Australia’s Dodgy Political Donations

Labor and the Liberals have taken over $100 million from corporate donors since 2012.

Parties use political donations to help fund their election campaigns and day-to-day activities. In return, corporate donors get access to politicians. They sit with them at fundraising dinners and meet with them at Parliament House.

The dodgy deals that result are evidence that the system is broken –  it gives those with money the opportunity to buy influence that the average person cannot afford.

Pay for Play

Current laws mean only ‘gifts’ need to be disclosed.

If a company pays to attend Labor or Liberals’ ‘business forums’ to meet & greet ministers and MPs, it doesn’t need disclosing. These types of meetings are often referred to ‘cash for access’.

Up to 20 months later

Donations are only disclosed once a year, meaning we can wait up to 20 months to find out who is donating.

If an election is in May 2019, we won’t know who donated what until February 2020.

The Data Dump

Donations information is only released by the AEC once a year, meaning journalists and the public have mountains of information to search through.

Split the bill between the states

Donors can split their money amongst state parties, and making their overall financial contributions harder to identify if they’re below the reportable threshold of $13,500.

map of australia with the states highlighted

Dark Money beneath the surface

As little as 10% of donations are properly disclosed, meaning 65% of the Liberal/Nationals income and 55% of Labor’s money is hidden from public view. We don’t know who’s paying their bills.