New research from the Centre for Public Integrity shows hidden money continues to fund our democracy. Analysis of the latest AEC figures shows:

  • The source of $68 million in party income was of unexplained origin in 2020-21 (38.6% of party income);
  • The total dark money since 1999 is $1.38 billion (30.8% of total party income);
  • The Coalition has hidden the source of $757.8 million, or 35.9% of their party income since 1999, while the ALP has hidden $433.9 million or 24.5%;
  • The Commonwealth has the weakest donations laws in the country

“The source of almost $70 million in party income was hidden last year alone. This secrecy needs to stop,” said Geoffrey Watson SC, a director of the Centre for Public Integrity.

“The last election set records for money raised and money hidden. Reform is needed now so that the funding of the coming election is transparent.. Voters deserve to know who is funding our political parties,”

“The Commonwealth has the weakest donation laws in the country. Most states have a disclosure threshold of $1000. The Commonwealth’s disclosure threshold of $14,500 is out of line and contributing to the transparency void into which almost $1.4 billion has fallen since 1999,” said Mr Watson.

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