Preliminary analysis of new data released today by the Australian Electoral Commission for 2012/2013 has been completed by my office.
The new AEC data shows a damaging donations culture continues, with $27.37 million dollars flowing to the federal divisions of Labor and Coalition parties in the last financial year. Political donations to the major parties for 2012/2013 were up this year by more than 120 per cent from $12.34 million to $27.38 million. The Federal Coalition received $13.57 million in donations, with 33 per cent or $4.47 million in undisclosed donation details. The disclosure threshold is now $12,100 so the public have no way of finding out who made donations below that amount. Donations to the major parties increased by more than $15 million compared to this time last year. While donations do go up coming into an election this is a record increase and shows the worrying trend of corporations attempting to buy influence in Canberra.
The data does not include all election donations. The bulk of donations made for the 2013 federal election will have been received between 1 July 2013 and election day 7 September 2013 and will not be publicly released until 1 February 2015. It is outrageous that the public will not know how much money people like Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer spent on election campaigning until February 2015. The technology for earlier releasing of this data is readily available and the public have a right to know which individuals/corporations may be influencing Australian politics.