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Thursday, 30 November 2017
Page: 9365

Donations to Political Parties


Senator FARRELL (South AustraliaDeputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (14:56): My question is to the Minister representing the Prime Minister, Senator Brandis. I refer to the Prime Minister's statement in February of this year where he said:

In the course of this current financial year, which is why it hasn't been disclosed on the AEC, I contributed $1.75 million. That was the contribution I made.

Has the Prime Minister now declared what is said to be the single biggest individual donation in Australian history?


Senator BRANDIS (QueenslandAttorney-General, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:56): It's not, as a matter of fact. I'm sure the Prime Minister's compliant with all his obligations.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Farrell, a supplementary question.



Senator FARRELL (South AustraliaDeputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (14:57): Section 305B(1) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act requires a person who makes a donation to a political party totalling more than the disclosure threshold during any financial year to furnish a return to the AEC within 20 weeks after the end of that financial year. Given this means the Prime Minister's disclosure was due last week, why has the Prime Minister breached the Electoral Act?


Senator BRANDIS (QueenslandAttorney-General, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:57): I'm not aware that he has, Senator.

The PRESIDENT: A final supplementary question, Senator Farrell.



Senator FARRELL (South AustraliaDeputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (14:57): Given the Prime Minister claims to support transparency in political donations, isn't it now apparent that, as well as failing to disclose his own donation, he has also broken his promise to deal with the donation reform in the spring session?


Senator BRANDIS (QueenslandAttorney-General, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:58): No, and the spring session has not concluded.