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Political funding in Australia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Political funding in Australia deals with political donations, public funding and other forms of funding received by politician or political party in Australia to pay for an election campaign. Political parties in Australia are publicly funded, to reduce the influence of private money upon elections, and subsequently, the influence of private money upon the shaping of public policy. After each election, the Australian Electoral Commission distributes a set amount of money to each political party, per vote received. For example, after the 2013 election, political parties and candidates received $58.1 million in election funding. The Liberal Party received $23.9 million in public funds, as part of the Coalition total of $27.2 million, while the Labor Party received $20.8 million.[1]

In Australia, the majority of private political donations come in the form of donations from corporations,[2] which go towards the funding of the parties' election advertising campaigns. Donations and affiliation fees from trade unions also play a big role, and to a lesser extent donations from individuals. Donations occasionally take the form of non-cash donations, referred to as gifts-in-kind.

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) monitors donations to political parties, and publishes a yearly list of political donors.[3] In practice, it is not difficult for donors to make undisclosed donations to political parties in Australia;[4] for example, donors can sometimes hide their identities behind associated entities.[3]

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  • Interest Groups: Crash Course Government and Politics #42
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Hello, I'm Craig and this is Crash Course Government and Politics and today we're going to talk about something almost every American has an opinion on: interest groups. Now if you've been watching these episodes and reading the comments you might be thinking that we've been trying to avoid the issue of money in politics and the role of special interests in the U.S. political system. We have. If you are one those people that wants to talk about money in politics, this episode will not disappoint you. I'm kidding, I know that some of you will still be disappointed. But mainly because I'm still not John Green. [Theme Music] So before we get into how interests groups influence American politics, let's define what we mean by interest groups. Groups of people who put money in banks and gain interest. That's not what we mean. An interest group is an organized group of individuals that make policy-related appeals to government. Now, interest groups don't actually have to meet in person, in fact in the case of very large interest groups it would be almost impossible to get them together in a room. But most interest groups have a membership and often it's the size of the membership that gives the group's political clout. Political scientists tell us that there are 2 main things that interest groups do when they interact with the government. First, they try to shape policies, which they can do by mobilizing voters or by putting direct pressure on elected officials. The second and probably more important thing that interest groups do is gather information they can provide for elected officials. Some would characterize this gathering of information as interest groups writing bills for elected officials to pass into laws. So interest groups are most likely to focus on a particular branch of government and I'll give you 3 guesses which one. No not the supreme court even though with only 9 members it would be the most efficient way for an interest group to exert pressure. Punching is most efficient way for me to exert pressure onto an eagle. And not the executive branch because if you remember, the president has lots of professional people to advise him and since he can only serve two terms, he's less susceptible to pressure that way. That leaves congress, which is the answer! That's where the interest groups exert their pressure. But wait, what about the bureaucracy? Can't bureaucrats also be the target of interest group pressure? Yes, in fact they can mainly because interest groups, especially if they're well funded, can supply information that is either too costly or too difficult for congressmen or bureaucratic agencies to get. But adding the fourth group messes up the whole three guesses three branches bit I was trying to do. And guesses are fun. Let's go to the Thought Bubble. The combination of interest groups, congress, and the bureaucracy are sometimes called an "iron triangle" which sounds a lot cooler than it is. Actually it's pretty cool, unless you're talking about the neighborhood in Queens near where the Mets play in which case my previous statement still stands. Anyway, in a political iron triangle, not only do interest groups help out congress through contributions and support, they also provide congressmen with information. Some might say that interest groups don't just provide information, they actually write the bills that become laws. And it is true that interest groups often have lawyers who propose language that can make it into bills and laws. But this is much more likely to happen on the state and local level where legislators don't have the staff resources to do the research behind bills. In fact, the practice of interest groups writing bills for state legislature is depressingly common. Given that congressmen are pretty busy trying to get re-elected, it's not surprising that they will be grateful for information from interest groups. But what about bureaucracies? They're supposed to be made up of experts and they don't have to run for re-election, right? Well they are, and they don't, but information is really really costly, and often bureaucratic agencies are just not as well-funded as an interest group. The oil industry is represented by the American Petroleum Institute as well as individual oil and gas companies. Because it's highly regulated, the oil industry has a big interest in seeing legislation and regulations they like passed. But more important here is the fact that the oil and gas industry has a lot of money money money money - way more money than any particular federal agency, so it can spend money on research and provide information that the agencies often can't. Thanks Thought Bubble. One more thing about interest groups and bureaucracies: There's a big temptation to think that wealthy interests spend their money providing campaign contributions and information to Congressmen, and this does happen. But they can often be more effective providing information to agencies and writing regulations rather than the laws. As we've mentioned before, regulations are just as important as laws and for many industries, even more so. That's why you'll see a lot of interest group efforts spent lobbying bureaucratic agencies as well as Congress. Before we get into the question of whether or not interest groups are destroying American democracy, I want to clarify two things that interest groups are not: First off, an interest group is not a political party. As you remember, political parties exist to get candidates elected. Interest groups exist to influence the policies that those elected officials make. Interest groups are also not the same as political action committees or PACs. A PAC is an organization that collects and distributes campaign funds and information, and therefore is concerned with elections. Interest groups can give money to PACs and they can even form their own PACs, but they aren't exactly the same thing. Okay, so now the controversial issue with interest groups. Do they have too much influence? To sort this out, I'm going to need some help from some friends, and by friends I mean clones, which aren't my friends. Let's head to the Clone Zone! Hey, here we are! Clone Zone! It's just like the regular zone except that thing's gone and there's a graphic. So today, clone with the tie is going to argue that interest groups are good for American democracy and clone without the tie is going to argue that they're bad. He also has bad fashion sense. Okay, go. Clone with a tie: The main argument in favor of interest groups has to do with pluralism. If all interest groups are free to compete to influence officials, then they'll balance each other out. It'll be cool. The idea of incorporating lots of groups goes back at least as far as James Madison. In the Federalist Papers, Madison argued for extending the sphere in American politics and encouraging more and more factions. The theory was that the more groups there were, the less likely that any one group could gain a corrupting influence over the government. Sort of like the idea of the wisdom of crowds or Condorcet's jury theorem. With more interest groups providing more information, we will get policies that are the result of thoughtful compromise. Another argument for interest groups is that they offer more opportunity for participation in politics. Elections only happen every two years, on the federal level at least, but policy gets made all the time, or at least, it's supposed to. By joining an interest group, an individual can push for a policy that care about all the time, not just at election time. And isn't participation the essence of democracy? I think yes. Clone without a tie: Sure, it's great to have more voices involved in policy making as long as each voice is powerful enough to be heard. In the current system, that is just not the case. Interest group politics diminishes American democracy because some interest groups are so powerful that their voices are able to crowd out all the others. And in America today, the people with the loudest voices are the wealthy! (loudly) And me right now! And it's not only because the wealthy have more money to give to politicians; although that does help. Obviously, people who are really poor can't offer campaign contributions, but there are plenty of advocates for them. But in America, the wealthy have other resources that the poor just can't bring to bear. Like money! Lotsa, lotsa, money! They tend to be better educated, so they have access to more information, and the ability to disseminate their views more (stumbling over the word) articulately. And just as important, wealthy people have more time to devote to political participation than the poor. Clone with a tie: Sure, what you're saying makes sense, but do you have any proof? I mean, there are plenty of laws protecting poor people. What about the earned income tax credit? Clone without a tie: Well, I have a chart. Clone with a tie: Oh. Clone without a tie: You can see that the number of PACs, while not exactly the same thing as interest groups, has grown an awful lot since the mid-1970s. Corporate interests, which by and large represent wealthy people, vastly outnumber the groups representing working people, like labor and cooperative groups. By numbers alone, wealthy interest groups would seem to have more power than other groups. But that's not all. A series of studies that culminated in the book Affluence & Influence by Martin Gilens shows pretty definitively that Congress is much more likely to enact laws that respond to the interests of the wealthy, than the poor. It's not that they never took poor people's interests into account, it's just that they are much, much more likely to make policies that favor the rich. Is that the essence of democracy? I think no. Wheezy: Thanks you beautiful clones. So there you have the basics of interest groups in America and why they are so controversial. I hope that you now have a better of what interest groups are and what they are not and how they work to influence policy in government, which is their main function in the American political system. You should also know what the Iron Triangle is and why people complain so much about interest groups in America today, other than they haven't had their coffee yet. Where's my coffee?!? Thank you. But I also hope that you understand the idea of pluralism, it's powerful idea and one that if taken seriously, shows the importance of participation in politics. This is empty. And that's ultimately what interest groups do for us. They give us another avenue to have our voices heard and contribute to the policies that shape our lives. Thanks for watching. I'll see you next time. Crash Course Government and Politics is produced in association with PBS Digital Studios. Support for Crash Course U.S. Government comes from Voqal. Voqal supports nonprofits that use technology and media to advance social equity. Learn more about their mission and initiatives at Crash Course is made with the help of all these very special interests. Thanks for watching.


Corporate political donations

Between the years 1995–1998, corporations donated $29 million to Australian political parties. The largest corporate donor during this period was Westpac.[5] By the year 2002–2003, the amount of corporate funding to Australian political parties had risen to $69.4 million.[6] In 2004–2005, the Labor Party raised $64.8 million from both the corporate sector and public funding, while the Liberal Party raised over $66 million.[3] Most of the large corporate donors conduct business in an area greatly affected by government policy, or are likely to benefit from government contracts.[5]

Corporate fundraising

In Australia, there is a growing trend for MPs to become directly involved in the corporate fundraising efforts of their parties. Ministers and staff are enlisted to engage with donors and business supporters, with the aim of raising funds for their political parties.[3] It is known for business leaders to pay $1,400 to get near a federal minister.[3][7]

When political parties lodge their return to the AEC, they are not required to identify the corporations which attended party fundraising events. This allows companies to deny they are political donors.[3]

Other corporate funding

Corporations may contribute to political funding in a variety of ways. For example, they may pay a corporate fee to attend party conferences.[8]

Trade union political funding

The Australian Labor Party is the main beneficiary of trade union affiliation fees, special levies and donations. The Labor Party received $49.68 million from trade unions in 2004/05. Critics have accused the unions of buying seats at ALP state conferences.[9] In 2001/02, money from trade unions amounted to 11.85% of the Labor Party's income.[3]

Public funding for political parties

In 1984, the Labor Hawke Government introduced public funding for political parties, with the intention that it would reduce the parties' reliance on corporate donations. To be eligible for public funding a political party needs to be registered with the Australian Electoral Commission under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. A candidate or Senate group is eligible for election funding if they obtain at least 4% of the first preference vote in the division or the state or territory they contested.

The amount payable is calculated by multiplying the number of first preference (i.e., primary) votes received by the rate of payment applicable at the time. The rate is indexed every six months in line with increases in the Consumer Price Index.[10] At the time of the 1984 election the rate was 61.2 cents for the House of Representatives and 30.6 cents for the Senate. That amount was based on the cost of a standard 30¢ postage stamp per elector per year.[11] By the 1996 election, the rate was set at $1.58 per vote for both Houses. By the 2013 election the rate was $2.49. At 1 January 2014 the rate was $2.52 per vote.[12] By the 2016 election, the election funding rate from 1 July 2016 to 31 December 2016 is $2.62784 per eligible vote. [13]

As a result of the 2013 election, political parties and candidates received $58.1 million in election funding. The Liberal Party received $23.9 million in public funds, as part of the Coalition total of $27.2 million, while the Labor Party received $20.8 million.[14] When public funding was introduced in 1984, the amount paid was $12 million.[15] For the 1996 election, the total public funding had increased to $32.2 million,[16] and was $41.9 million for the 2004 election.

Disclosure of political donations

At the time of introducing public funding for political parties in 1984, the Hawke Government also introduced a requirement for public disclosure of political donations. The threshold amount was set at $1,500. The disclosure scheme was introduced to increase overall transparency and inform the public about the financial dealings of political parties, candidates and others involved in the electoral process.[17]

In May 2006, the Howard Government increased the disclosure threshold to $10,000,[18] which is then increased six-monthly by the consumer price index.[citation needed] Critics of the change claimed the new law would increase the chances of corruption, by making political donations harder to track, and by making conflicts of interest harder to detect. The change allowed corporations to secretly donate up to $90,000 spread across the national and the eight state/territory branches of political parties without public disclosure of that funding.[3][18] In 2007, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library estimated this disclosure change will increase the number of non-disclosed political donations from 25% to 36%.[19]

Since 2006, the donations limit has increased by $200 or $300 each year so that by 2014 the threshold was $12,400, and $13,200 for 2016/17 (and applicable to the 2016 federal election).[20] This meant that in 2014 up to $111,600 could be donated to a political party from a donor without disclosure, if donations are spread across the national and the eight state/territory branches.[21]

In February 2017, then-Prime Minister Turnbull confirmed he had personally donated $1.75 million to the Liberal Party's election campaign for the 2016 federal election.[22]

Another way of getting around the donation disclosure limits is for donations to be channelled through more than one entity or individuals.

Tax deductibility

Until 2006, $100 of political donations could be claimed as a tax deduction for income tax purposes. In 2006, the Howard Government increased the deductible amount to $1,500.[18] The disclosure rules for political parties require them to characterise receipts as either "donations" or "other receipts". Most receipts are in fact marked as "other receipts", indicating that they have been structured in such a way as not to be treated as a political donation, which is subject to the tax deductibility limit. Such a device may, for example, be an exorbitantly priced lunch or dinner, or structured as a business meeting with a minister, or it may be an expensive advertisement in an association's magazine. The profits of the entity providing such "services" then flow to the associated political party.

Associated entities

Despite the AEC publishing a yearly list of political donors, it is often difficult to ascertain who made the donation, as political parties sometimes use associated entities as front organisations to hide the source of donations.[3]

Front organisations provide individuals and corporations a means of passing funds to the major parties anonymously or to avoid the tax deductibility limits of political donations. The Cormack Foundation is one such an organisation which raises funds for the Liberal Party, while John Curtin House Limited does the same for the Labor Party. Under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, these organisations are not required to disclose where its funds come from.[23] Associated entities have become major conduits for political donations in Australia, in 2003–2004 donating $72.6 million to political parties.[3]

Some candidates have their own fundraising entities. Malcolm Turnbull has the Wentworth Forum run by the Wentworth Federal Electoral Conference (or FEC),[24][25] which Turnbull claims ceased operations in 2009. The North Sydney Forum is a campaign fundraising body run by the North Sydney Federal Electoral Conference (FEC). While Joe Hockey was Treasurer of Australia, a member of the Forum was rewarded with private meetings with Hockey in return for annual fees of up to $22,000.[26] Such entities do not make funding disclosures to the AEC as an associated entity of a political party, instead being structured as a funding entity for a particular candidate. Payments made by "members" are not treated as donations, instead being treated as membership fees or fees for services provided. There are many such fundraising entities not disclosed to the AEC or the public, including Enterprise Victoria, Free Enterprise Foundation[7] and Greenfields Foundation. The Fadden Forum is a fundraising entity of the Queensland Liberal National Party controlled by MP Stuart Robert.[27] Another similar entity said to occupy a "grey area" is the Conservative Leadership Foundation, set up in 2009 by Senator Cory Bernardi in Adelaide, South Australia.[28]

An associated entity called Millennium Forum raised political donations for the NSW branch of the Liberal Party. In public hearings at the NSW corruption inquiry, ICAC, it was alleged that senior Liberal Party officials used the Millennium Forum and another Liberal-linked entity, the Free Enterprise Foundation, to funnel prohibited donations, including from property developers, into the 2011 NSW election campaign. It was alleged that donations prohibited under NSW law were instead made to the Free Enterprise Foundation, a federal body. The Free Enterprise Foundation would then donate to the NSW Liberals' state campaign. Now discredited, the Millennium Forum was replaced by the new Federal Forum for the same purpose.[29] It has also been alleged that Mafia figures donated tens of thousands of dollars to the Millennium Forum, as part of an ultimately successful campaign to allow a known criminal to stay in Australia.[30]

Another type of associated entities are so-called think tanks, such as the Menzies Research Centre, the H.R. Nicholls Society and Institute of Public Affairs which contribute to policy development.

Service companies

It was revealed before the 2016 federal election that each Liberal MP pays a company called Parakeelia $2,500 a year from their taxpayer-funded office allowances to use software that collates constituent information. In fact, Parakeelia is a Liberal Party-controlled entity all of whose profit flows to the party. The structure, described by some commentators as a rort, made the entity the party's second-largest single source of revenue in 2014-15.[31][32] Parakeelia paid $500,000 to the Liberal Party in 2015.[33]

Unlike the Liberals, Labor has contracted an external private provider, Magenta Linas, to perform the same function, but there is no flow back to the party.[34]

Criticism of political donations

The Australian Shareholders Association has called for political donating to end, arguing that the donations are a gift and a form of bribery.[3]

Former Qantas chief, John Menadue, said:

"Corporate donations are a major threat to our political and democratic system, whether it be state governments fawning before property developers, the Prime Minister providing ethanol subsidies to a party donor, or the immigration minister using his visa clientele to tap into ethnic money."[6]

Political researchers Sally Young and Joo-Cheong Tham from the Australian National University concluded:

"There is inadequate transparency of funding. Moreover, there is a grave risk of corruption as undue influence due to corporate contributions and the sale of political access."[3]

Some critics say Australia should follow the example of the United Kingdom, where corporate donors must disclose their political donations in the company's annual report to shareholders.[5]

Other critics have called for limits to cap the amount that corporations and unions can donate to political parties, similar to the $5000 personal donation limit in Canada, with a virtual ban on union and corporate donations.[6][35] Some point to the success New Zealand has had, limiting the amount of money that political parties can spend on their election campaigns.[35]

In January 2008, New South Wales Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell demanded political donations be limited to $30,000 per candidate, and a cap of $250,000 on what a corporation or union can donate to a political party. Describing the NSW government of Morris Iemma, O'Farrell said: "This is a Government where many people are of the view donations buy influence and decisions. That's why we need to take action to clean up the system." [36]

Under a proposal launched by Shadow Federal Treasurer Malcolm Turnbull in January 2008, only individuals who are Australian citizens or on the Electoral Roll would be eligible to donate to political parties, and must declare the money came from their own funds. Turnbull said that the democratic system was not working properly when there is such a disparity between the amount of political donations a government can raise compared to the opposition.[37]

In June 2017, a joint Fairfax-Four Corners investigation into Chinese attempts to influence Australian political parties exposed that the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation briefed both major parties about receiving campaign contributions from Chinese billionaires. These briefings were ignored and both political parties continued to accept donations from people in question.[38] The Director-General of ASIO, Duncan Lewis, stated that Chinese political donors could be channels to advance Beijing's interests.[39] In response to the allegations, Malcolm Turnbull ordered an inquiry into espionage and foreign interference laws.[40] In December 2017, opposition MP Sam Dastyari resigned under pressure from a political scandal where he was accused of going against the Australian government's policy on the South China Sea as well as accusations of accepting financial favors from Chinese companies.[41] Shortly afterwards, the Coalition Government announced plans to ban foreign donations to Australian political parties and activist groups.[42] This was a remarkable turn of events as Australia historically had no restrictions on political donations from outside of the country.[43]

State political donations

New South Wales

The New South Wales government is the seventh biggest advertiser in Australia, ahead of McDonald's and Coca-Cola.[35]

On 30 October 2006, former Prime Minister Paul Keating called for an end to political donations from property developers. He said that in NSW, property developers were sending a "wall of money" towards the planning minister.[44]

In September 2007, the Independent Commission Against Corruption cited political donations as a risk for corruption. The ICAC recommended that the state premier make changes to the Election Funding Act to force property developers to publicly disclose any donations made to the minister for planning, or the minister's political party.[45] The ICAC also recommended that local government councillors step aside from any development applications involving political donors.[45]

On 27 June 2007, the New South Wales Legislative Council established a committee to investigate electoral and political party funding.[46][47] Critics have said the inquiry will be a toothless tiger, due to it being stacked with government-friendly members. [35][48]

On 14 September 2011, a radical bill was tabled by Premier Barry O'Farrell which would ban any donations from corporations, unions or other organisations; only individuals would be permitted to donate, up to a cap of one thousand dollars.[49] The bill was passed on 16 February 2012.


In Victoria during the year 2001–2002, the Victorian Labor Party received $7.2 million in political donations, with trade unions, gaming companies and property developers on the list of donors. In the same year, the Victorian Liberals received $11.3 million in political funding, including $3.8 million in public funding.[50]

Former Victorian premier, John Cain, presented a speech on political donors:

"All of them want access and, some would say, favours. We seem to have accepted this situation provided that the donation, the giver and receiver are known; that is, that disclosure is the key.
"But the driver is hunger for money by the parties. Despite public funding in the Commonwealth and some states, this hunger explains the drive only in part. Donors want the parties (and so, governments) to be beholden to them and to be preferred over their business competitors. It is a neat, cosy arrangement. It grows more blatant.
"The parties in Australia now openly call for donations that provide access at rates of $10,000 to the Prime Minister or premier. It costs less to get to see a minister.
"Parties are like football clubs – no matter how much money they get, they will spend it and then want more."[51]

Former Victorian auditor-general Ches Baragwanath said it is naive to believe that political donors don't expect favours in return for their money.[3]

See also

Country-specific (International):


  1. ^ Nov 27, 2013 (2013-11-27). "AEC Finalises $58 Million Of Election Funding To Candidates In Federal Election". Retrieved 2017-09-19.
  2. ^ Young, Sally (2006). "Political finance in Australia : a skewed and secret system" (PDF). Australian National University. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 October 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2007.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Are our politicians for sale?". Melbourne: The Age. 23 May 2006. Retrieved 21 September 2007.
  4. ^ The Age, Payments, power and our politicians
  5. ^ a b c "The National Interest: Political Donations". ABC Radio. 25 June 2004. Archived from the original on 20 October 2009. Retrieved 25 September 2007.
  6. ^ a b c "Can power be bought?". Melbourne: The Age. 8 February 2004. Retrieved 26 September 2007.
  7. ^ a b "Three prime ministers hit Melbourne as Liberals mount pre-poll cash grab". 2016-06-19. Retrieved 2017-09-19.
  8. ^ Speech by Senator Williams (National Party): Hansard, 3 March 2016, p.1816.
  9. ^ Albrechtsen, Janet (8 November 2006). "Of course donors expect something in return". The Australian. Archived from the original on 7 November 2007. Retrieved 26 September 2007.
  10. ^ "Election funding". Australian Electoral Commission. 2017-02-15. Retrieved 2017-09-19.
  11. ^ Sydney Morning Herald: Australian politics 101: take the money and run
  12. ^ Dec 10, 2013 (2013-12-10). "Election Funding Rate To Increase To $2.52 Per Vote". Retrieved 2017-09-19.
  13. ^ AEC: Current funding rate
  14. ^ Nov 27, 2013 (2013-11-27). "AEC Finalises $58 Million Of Election Funding To Candidates In Federal Election". Retrieved 2017-09-19.
  15. ^ "Introduce a "None of the Above" Voting Option". Retrieved 2017-09-19.
  16. ^ "1996 Federal Election Funding". 1996-11-07. Retrieved 2017-09-19.
  17. ^ AEC: Financial disclosure
  18. ^ a b c "How red tape strangles the ballot boxes". The Sydney Morning Herald. 1 September 2007. Retrieved 26 September 2007.
  19. ^ "Our democracy encourages corruption and undue influence". Melbourne: The Age. 2 February 2007. Retrieved 26 September 2007.
  20. ^ AEC: Disclosure threshold
  21. ^ "Disclosure Threshold". Political Parties & Funding and Disclosure > Election Funding. Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  22. ^ Turnbull admits donating $1.75 million to election campaign ABC News 1 February 2017
  23. ^ "Mysteries remain in political donations". ABC Radio. 2 February 2004. Retrieved 25 September 2007.
  24. ^ "Malcolm Turnbull's rich list". 2009-07-15. Retrieved 2017-09-19.
  25. ^ "Turnbull's links to secretive fundraising practices". Retrieved 2017-09-19.
  26. ^ The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 May 2014, Sean Nicholls: Treasurer for sale: Joe Hockey offers privileged access
  27. ^ "Turnbull MP in new donations scandal as special corruption team investigates". 2016-09-25. Retrieved 2017-09-19.
  28. ^ The Age, Gina McColl, 8 August 2016: Sam Dastyari's accuser Cory Bernardi has his own questionable fundraising body
  29. ^ The Sydney Morning Herald, 26 July 2014, Sean Nicholls: NSW Liberals launch fund-raising body to replace discredited Millennium Forum
  30. ^ The Sydney Morning Herald, 30 June 2015, Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, Michael Bachelard, Sean Nicholls: Key Liberal fundraising body took Mafia money for access
  31. ^ Federal election 2016: Mystery deepens over Parakeelia as Cormann ducks question
  32. ^ The Saturday Paper, 18 June 2016, Mike Seccombe, Parakeelia: The inner workings of the Liberals’ funding rort
  33. ^ "Parakeelia rented Liberal Party's 2013 election campaign headquarters". 2016-06-21. Retrieved 2017-09-19.
  34. ^ ABC Net, 16 June 2016, Para-what? The Liberal Party's software firm Parakeelia explained
  35. ^ a b c d Stoner, Andrew (26 September 2007). "Counting the cost of political advertising". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 September 2007.
  36. ^ Clennell, Andrew (28 January 2008). "Anger over Iemma's lopsided election campaign war chest". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 28 January 2008.
  37. ^ Clennell, Andrew (29 January 2008). "Turnbull backs call for cap on donations". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 29 January 2008.
  38. ^ McKenzie, Nick; Uhlmann, Chris; Baker, Richard; Fitton, Daniel; Koloff, Sashka. "China's Operation Australia: Payments, power and our politicians". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media / Four Corners. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  39. ^ McKenzie, Nick; Uhlmann, Chris; Baker, Richard; Flitton, Daniel; Koloff, Sashka (6 June 2017). "ASIO investigation targets Communist Party links to Australian political system". ABC News. Four Corners. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  40. ^ Chris Uhlmann; Gribbin, Caitlyn (6 June 2017). "Malcolm Turnbull orders inquiry following revelations ASIO warned parties about Chinese donations". ABC News. ABC. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  41. ^ Remeikis, Amy (12 December 2017). "Sam Dastyari quits as Labor senator over China connections". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  42. ^ Murphy, Katharine (5 December 2017). "Coalition to ban foreign donations to political parties and activist groups". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
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Other sources

Colin A. Hughes: Fifty years of campaign finance study in Australia, Democratic Audit of Australia, Discussion Paper no. 35 of December 2006 <[permanent dead link]>

Iain McMenamin: Business, Politics and Money in Australia: Testing Economic, Political and Ideological Explanations, Working Papers in International Studies, no. 4 of 2008, Centre for International Studies, Dublin City University <>

Graeme Orr: The Law of Politics. Elections, Parties and Money in Australia, Sydney: Federation Press, 2010.

Iain McMenamin: If Money Talks, What Does It Say? Corruption and Business Financing of Political Parties, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.

External links

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