Media release 1st February 2022

The most recent AEC donations disclosures confirm the need for urgent reform of our political finance system. The data shows that big donors are dominating the funding of our political parties, with almost a quarter of all donations coming from just 10 donors.

Total donations 2020-21 $17,904,618

Top 10 donors

Pratt Holdings P/L$1,298,000
Cartwright Investment Corp Pty Ltd ATF Burleigh Trust$350,000
National Automotive Leasing and Salary Packaging Association$303,700
Nitschke, William $300,000
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia$295,149
Meriton Properties Pty Ltd$285,000
Australian Hotels Association (N.S.W.)$259,946
ANZ Banking Group Limited$244,100

Top 10 total donations                $4,231.903

Percentage of total donations for 2020-21    23.64%

Party receipts totals (data includes donations, public funding, subscriptions, intraparty transfers etc)

  1. Liberal Party of Australia                $74,792,342
  2. Australian Labor Party                $67,346,461
  3. Australian Greens                    $15,976,807
  4. National Party of Australia                $8,973,527
  5. Australian Citizens Party                $2,293,779
  6. Animal Justice Party                    $1.569.486
  7. Katter’s Australia Party                $908,171
  8. Christian Democratic Party                $553,148
  9. Jacqui Lambie Network                $458428
  10. Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party       $430,133

Coalition total receipts                    $83,765,869
ALP total receipts                    $67,346,461

“The Commonwealth has the weakest donation laws in the country. Today we can see some of the donations that were made last financial year, but nothing under $14,500 and nothing from the last 6 months,” said the Hon Anthony Whealy QC, Chair of the Centre for Public Integrity.

“The federal disclosure scheme is mis-named – it is a non-disclosure scheme with more than a third of political funding shrouded in secrecy. With an election around the corner, the public deserves to know who is funding our political parties,” 

“What we can see is that a handful of donors dominate the funding of political parties. Big money has big impact, with the top 10 donors funding almost a quarter of all donations,”

“We need urgent reform to clean up the undue influence of money in politics. Campaign spending caps should be put in place to stop the fundraising arms race. Donation caps are needed to rein in the influence of big donors. And we need real time disclosure of donations over $1000 so that the public knows who is funding our political parties before they vote, not 9 months after the election,” said Mr Whealy.