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Tuesday, 9 October 2012
Page: 11743

Electoral Donations

(Question No. 1132)

Mr Oakeshott asked the Treasurer, in writing, on 14 August 2012:

(1) Is it a fact that he made the following statement in The Monthly magazine (March 2012): 'I fear Australia's extraordinary success has never been in more jeopardy than right now because of the rising power of vested interests.'

(2) Is he aware that according to 2010-11 Australian Electoral Commission disclosure returns, the Labor, Liberal and National parties together received more than $200 million in direct corporate political donations.

(3) What measures is the Government taking to fulfil its election commitment to reform the rules governing political donations.

Mr Swan The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Yes.

(2) The donor disclosure returns on the AEC website does not separately identify donations made by individuals and corporations. However, I am aware that the website shows that the total amount reported by all donors to the Labor, Liberal and National parties for the 2010-11 financial year is just over $26 million and that the amount you quoted of more than $200 million in direct corporate political donations is incorrect. The $200 million disclosed in the Labor, Liberal and National Party returns combined is the total of all receipts, and includes income from investments etc, not just donations.

(3) The government is still considering reforms in light of the report on the funding of political parties and election campaigns, and on 20 June 2012, the Special Minister of State, the Hon Gary Gray AO MP, tabled a statement in the House of Representatives setting out the status of the government response to the Joint Select Committee on Electoral Matters (JSCEM) report on political party funding and the current JSCEM inquiry on the AEC's analysis of Fair Work Australia report on the Health Services Union.