New research shows the scary “ownership” of Australian Politics

It will come to no surprise that there are businesses that donate to Australian politicians. Election campaigns are costly and

It will come to no surprise that there are businesses that donate to Australian politicians. Election campaigns are costly and while some of it is subsidised if the person wins their election it can still cost quite a bit. But where does the money come from? You? No. Just like the American political system that gets a lot of criticising, the money comes from big business.

There are huge differences between the American and Australian political systems, but it seems one trend is very popular among them both and that is the major parties accepting a large amount of “donations” from large businesses who may or may not also be looking for a “return on investment.”

While due to transparency laws being not that transparent, the exact figure could be a lot more than the study has found. The lead researcher behind political donations, Monash University’s Dr Charles Livingstone told ABC, “It’s very hard to know because disclosure laws in Australia are very opaque”. He continued, “I wouldn’t be surprised if it was twice or three times as much as been declared, at least.”

With that claim in mind, the fact that the number he has come up with is just under $1billion is still alarming. The biggest donator being Clive Palmer’s Queensland Nickel Pty Ltd, which is now in liquidation. The company donated $21,664,196 to Palmer’s own Palmer United Party as well as Liberal and National. Another of Mr Palmer’s companies, Mineralogy Pty Ltd, donated $14,692,636 to Palmer United as well as Liberal and National parties.

Village Roadshow Entertainment donated $5,022,263 to both Liberal and Labor when the government was pushing for digital piracy reforms. Many Film studios enjoy massive tax breaks for filming in Australia.

Labor and The Greens are pushing for donation reform in the New Year because they feel the public is becoming more cynical about politics and the influences big business has. Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon told ABC straight, “The political donations regime in Australia is not only a mess, it’s open to corruption”.

What do you think about this information? Does Big business need to stay away from politics or is this just “business as usual”?


  1. Guy Flavell  

    No, why shouldn’t Australian businesses make political donations to the two major parties?
    They are only endeavoring to influence Governments into providing sound economic management
    in the hope that their business sectors will receive fair and balanced treatment at all times.
    Sadly, it’s the $billions donated by the union movement that see our socialist governments
    totally controlled by same … to the detriment of ALL Australians.

    • Bruce Taylor  

      Really Guy? Shows just how little you actually know. The sum total of donations from unions to political parties at the last election was less than one quarter of that donated by big business. In fact it was less than half of what was donated by the coal industry alone.

      • Guy Flavell  

        Thanks for you response Bruce. $11 billion just from the CMFEU to the ALP over the past
        ten years plus a similar amount from the other unions … let’s say $20 billion over the past
        10 years (?). So you’re saying that big business has donated $80 billion just to the Coalition
        over the same 10 years? This seems a huge amount considering they also directed $billions
        to the ALP and Greens as well.
        Could their be just a smidgen of exaggeration in your comment my friend ???

    • Ria Young  

      Stop blaming the Unions. If it wasn’t for the Unions we would have no 8 hour day, Workers Compensation coverage, holiday pay and long service leave, work safety laws, penalty rates, and other benefits for the working population. Without Labor we would have no National Health, it started with Medibank, almost obliterated by LNP, and resurected by Labor as Medicare. Labor policies stopped Australia from going into recession during the GFC, if LNP had been governing then our recession would probably have been like Greece, a country which has still not recovered. The LNP has proved over the last 4 years that they cannot manage the economy in times of relevant ‘prosperity’, and they have no idea of what to do except cut welfare, aged pensions, penalty rates, Medicare support, while offering the rich and all businesses a tax cut, so cutting their tax revenue, and expect the struggling people to pay for it. Where are the jobs and growth? Unemployment is growing, and growth is now negative at -.05%.

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