The Liberal/Nationals

In the last 9 years, the Liberal and National Parties have taken over $140 million from corporations.

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:

Category Value
Banking and Finance Industry 46,679,764
Developers and Property Industry 24,197,834
Energy and Resource Companies 12,115,961
Government Contractors 10,065,112
Manufacturing and Heavy Industry 8,453,984
Private Health Industry 8,441,533
Hotels Clubs and Alcohol 7,415,601

Category Value
Retail and Services Sector 6,967,093
Food and Agriculture 6,918,897
Media and Communications 4,588,733
Lobbying Firms 2,997,644
Gambling Industry 2,570,961
Consultancies and Law Firms 2,505,369
Tobacco and Firearms 334,174

Cumulative totals to Coalition between FY2012-13 – FY2020-21 (Liberal and National Parties, state and federal)

And there’s a lot we know nothing 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.

The three big problems with dark money.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 2012-2021:

Cumulative totals to Coalition FY2012-13 – FY2020-21 (Liberal and National Parties, state and federal). Explore and filter the raw AEC data ›