Who got how much in the last federal election

 

 

 

They’ll outspend us — again

The AEC recently released the reports of donations above $12,400 given to all political parties during the financial year of the last federal election. Can you guess who got the most? Wait until you see who’s behind the money.

In the next couple of weeks we will launch our End of Financial Year fundraising appeal. Featuring Christine Milne, the appeal talks in detail about the need for us to fundraise at a grassroots level as we prepare for the biggest election battle of our 23-year history as the Australian Greens — the 2016 federal election. We know that, no matter how much we plan and prepare, the old parties and Big End of Town will continue to outspend The Greens during the election campaign.

Are you bored yet? Many people glaze over when fundraising is mentioned. Asking people for money….it’s all so gauche somehow.

But without it we are dead in the water. The truth of the matter is that without donations made to our party we cannot compete with the old parties or the cashed-up millionaire party of Clive Palmer.

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has recently published Annual Returns for the 2013/2014 financial year. By law, all registered political parties in Australia must lodge a return with the AEC, declaring all individual donations over $12,400.

PARTY

# DONATIONS OVER THRESHOLD

INCOME

# OTHER RECEIPTS

INCOME

TOTAL

ALP

132

$10,865,493

731

$41,621,232

$52,486,725

Liberals

225

$20,005,585

249

$56,599,990

$76,605,575

Australian Greens

32

$1,666,954

92

$11,241,228

$12,908,182

The Nationals

25

$1,281,313

24

$6,800,897

$8,082.210

Palmer United Party

5

$25,932,983

1

$2,828,547

$28,761,530

Follow the money

That first column is the number of individual donations over the threashold of $12,400 which were declared. The Nationals and PUP only report to the AEC donations over the threshold while the Liberals have reported a handful of gifts between $5,000 and $12,300 and The Greens and the ALP report some smaller donations. However, so we are comparing apples with apples, donations under the threshold have been omitted from this table. Other receipts refers to amounts received which don’t meet the legislative definition of ‘gift’ (commonly referred to as donation). Examples are interest on investments, dividends on shares, and reimbursements for public election funding from the AEC. In the case of the Australian Greens, this includes contributions by state parties and distributions to the States of funds raised by the Australian Greens.

Looking at each Party by group, the results — while unsurprising — are a disturbing snapshot of who is giving money to our political parties. (If you want to play along at home, check out our site Democracy4Sale where you can search donations back to 1998.)

Over in the red corner the ALP declared a $600,000 single donation from Chinese conglomerate Australia Kingold Investment Development Co P/L who — according to their website — is ‘anchored in the real estate industry… investments include education, culture, mass-media, catering and hotels, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, healthcare and beauty, smart card systems and eco-tourism. That’s quite a list. In addition to this gift, contributions totalling $80k were made by AUSTRALIA KINGOLD INVESTMENT DEVELOPMENT CO. PTY, Kingold Group, Kingold Group Companies and Kingold Investment group.  All have similar names and all are located at the same address in Chatswood, NSW.

Second on the list is SA Progressive Business. Chaired by former ALP Senator Nick Bolkus, the group is an associated entity of the ALP and “forums bring together leaders from both business and government to exchange ideas and discuss issues critical to building a prosperous State.”

The ALP’s top individual donor was Zi Chun Wang who, according to The Guardian, “is employed by a Chinese-Australian property development group called the Ever Bright Group. The company confirmed he is currently employed at the group and working in China.” His contributions total $850,000.

In the blue corner, the Libs list is abrim with a who’s who of big business. Vapold Pty Ltd contributed $1.9 million to the party, and it’s interesting to note that one of its directors is John Calvert-Jones — a stockbroker and Rupert Murdoch’s brother in law. The web of intrigue gets thicker here. According to the SMH another director of that company is Charles Goode, a retiring Director of ANZ — also a big donor to the party. The Cormack Foundation has been raising money for the Libs for years now and two of the three directors are none other than John Calvert-Jones and Charles Goode. In 2013/2014 alone, this foundation donated $4,260,000 to their Liberal mates.

Not all donors hide their contributions in a myriad of foundations, trusts and clubs. Village Roadshow, Cabcharge Australia, Clubs Australia, Nimrod Resources and tobacco giant Philip Morris have — between them — contributed $1,075,000 to the coffers. Kingold — the ALP’s top donor — also slung $200k to the Libs.

The Nationals too have declared a gift from Kingold to the tune of $100k and contributions from Philip Morris ($20k) and Australian Hotels & Hospitality Association ($50k). It’s interesting to note that on their own, the Nationals wouldn’t be able to compete at the level they currently appear to — they clearly rely on their wealthier coalition partner. Intriguingly, the Greens polled higher than the Nationals on primary votes in the NSW Election — but got nowhere near the number of seats.

The return submitted by the Palmer United Party is a list of Clive’s assets united.

Palmer Leisure contributed $90k, Palmer Coolum Resort $2.2million, Mineralogy $8.2million, Queensland Nickel $15million, and Clive himself managed to contribute some loose change: $101k.

We Greens declared a mere $1.7million across the entire country — above the Nationals but well short of the others.

Where to from here?

We all know that contesting elections is expensive. Clive is preparing to sue Jacqui Lambie and Glenn Lazarus for costs incurred by the Palmer United Party for their election campaigns. Jacqui is facing a bill of $2 million; Glenn, $7 million. $9 million for two people. By comparison, the Australian Greens spent less than $5 million on the 2013 election — across the whole country.

It’s not that we Greens don’t accept donations from unions or corporate entities. With the exception of the Greens NSW (where it is a Party policy that corporate donations cannot be accepted) all State parties — and the Australian Greens — can accept donations from organisations. However, donations are vetted by Donation Reference Groups (DRG) in each state — and in the case of contributions being made to the Australian Greens — the DRG has representatives from each state and contributions over $1,500 are listed on our website.

The Australian Greens donation policy clearly states that the Greens “…ensure that the values and aspirations of all donors are not inconsistent with those encapsulated in the policies and the Charter of the Australian Greens”. You can read that full donation policy online too. And we must stand by this. Not because it is just the right thing to do — but also because we must not be put ourselves into a position where we could be seen to be compromising our fundraising with political favours.

In the face of enormous contributions by vested interests to the old parties, we rely upon donations from our members, our supporters and the fundraising efforts by our Branches and Local Groups to fund strategic, clever and well researched election campaigns. It is the only way that we can keep standing up for what matters and it’s the only way we can continue to build our party across the country. And the stronger our party, the stronger our vote.

Not so boring any more, huh?

Please donate to our end-of-financial-year appeal today.

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Nile’s electricity inquiry stitch-up locks out renewable energy future

April 15, 2015

A behind-closed-door deal between the Baird government and the Christian Democrats has locked renewable energy and low income households out of next month’s upper house inquiry into the proposed privatisation of the state’s poles and wires network, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

Dr Kaye said: “Fred Nile’s first act in the new parliament is to set up a stacked inquiry designed to silence opposition to the government’s poles and wires privatisation.

“Mr Nile continues his strong track record of rolling over to the government on every critical issue.

“This is a stitch up job, clearly written in collaboration with the Baird government.

“This inquiry will comprehensively ignore the impacts of electricity privatisation on the future of renewable energy.

“There will be no space for roof-top solar, wind or solar thermal. There will no voice for technologies of the future that stand to lose badly in a privately-owned electricity network.

“Completely absent from the terms of reference are the consequences of the Baird government’s power sell-off on low-cost battery storage and household standalone power generation.

“It’s like the inquiry was happening 25 years ago.

“The absence of a Green on the inquiry guarantees that there will no focus on clean energy technologies.

“The Coalition and Christian Democrat majority will ensure that the dire implications of network privatisation for low income households will be given little or no consideration.

“Contrary to what the Rev Nile told the media prior to the election this inquiry has a pro-privatisation majority.

“The hard questions will not be asked and the most severe critics will not be given a hearing.

“The Greens will not be represented on this important inquiry, despite being the only parliamentary party to have a consistent record of opposing electricity privatisation.

“The biased terms of reference raise real questions about the counterpart of the deal that Fred Nile has clearly cut with the government.

“Mike Baird’s senior staffer Bay Warburton has been seen frequently entering Fred Nile’s parliamentary office.

“It remains to be seen which of Fred Nile’s pet projects are to be given a hearing from the government now that his inquiry has been heavily stacked in their favour,” said Dr Kaye.

For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455

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GREENS ANNOUNCE ABORIGINAL POLICY INITIATIVE

Thursday, 19 March 2015
On National Close the Gap Day, Greens MP and Aboriginal
Affairs spokesperson Jan Barham has announced the
Greens’ initiatives to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander peoples in NSW.
“The Greens policy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People acknowledges the failings
of Government to address the devastating conditions in many areas for Aboriginal people,”
said Ms Barham.
Key elements of the policy include:
• a NSW Premier’s report on outcomes for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples,
• a $250 million investment in Aboriginal housing to deliver around 1,000 homes,
• a plan and protocols to clear the backlog of 26,000 Aboriginal land claims,
• strategies for Aboriginal employment & training, including child welfare & tourism,
• lowering the eligibility age for the Seniors Card to 45 years for Aboriginal people, and
• a NSW Parliamentary inquiry into reparations for the Stolen Generations
Ms Barham said: “NSW can take the lead and prepare a state based annual report on a
broader set of Closing the Gap indicators to ensure that the funding and policies that are in
place are delivering outcomes.”
Last year Greens MLC Jan Barham presented a motion to the Parliament for the establishment
of an inquiry into Stolen Generations reparations. In Tasmania, legislation has been enacted
to provide for compensation and there is a similar bill before the South Australian Parliament.
“The history of removal of Aboriginal people from their families and country in NSW still
affects the lives of many, and an inquiry to report and consider appropriate reparations could
deliver a framework for genuine redress.”
“The health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is of major concern with life
expectancy identified as between 10 and 17 years less than the general population. The
Greens have called for eligibility to the NSW Seniors Card to include Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander people from the age of 45 years, to enable earlier opportunities for access to
health and transport services.
“The health and wellbeing of people is determined strongly by their ability to access safe and
stable housing. The Greens have acknowledged that there needs to be a major injection of
funding to facilitate more housing and reduce the increasing issue of homelessness

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Fund TAFE First: The Greens alternate vision to training privatisation

The Greens have announced that they will be moving to protect TAFE’s public funding from competition and slash fees, in a $900 million boost to the public provider’s annual secure budget.

Under the Greens’ “Fund TAFE First” replacement program for the Baird government’s “Smart and Skilled”, the public provider would have first access to all funds for each course that it teaches or could teach.

According to Greens NSW MP John Kaye, this would reinstate more than $600 million a year to TAFE’s secure budget and enable TAFE to restore the 1,100 staff positions that have been deleted since the Baird government moved to impose the ‘Smart and Skilled’ training market.

TAFE colleges would be able to reverse the cuts to courses, colleges and contact hours, reinstate face-to-face teaching, including where it have been replaced by on-line, and restore outreach programs and services for students with disability.

The Greens also announced an additional $180 million a year to cut fees and a process for negotiating with the Commonwealth to restore publicly funded Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas. This money would come from existing state funding of non-government schools. TAFE would be free for most students.

Greens NSW MP John Kaye said: “TAFE has been brought to its knees by a decade and a half of policies that have stripped out its budget and increasingly handed the money over to for-profit training corporations.

“TAFE is critical to the future of NSW. The quality and affordability of vocational education and training has to be protected from privatisation and the impacts of unfair competition with profit-focused corporations.

“Voters in Victoria and Queensland changed governments in part because they were deeply disturbed by what they saw happening to TAFE in their states.

“Now it’s NSW’s turn to decide on the future of skills training and education in this State.”

Dr Kaye said that while his party felt that there should be no competition for TAFE’s budget, the worst case scenario should be a limit of no more than 15 percent of public funds, applied on a course-by-course basis and for-profit private providers should be excluded from receiving public funding.

The Greens will also initiate a wide-ranging inquiry into competitive funding and the impacts of changes to vocational education and training over the past two decades, including the introduction of training packages. The inquiry would look at the fundamental causes of the change from public responsibility for education and training to market-based allocation for training.

For more information: Julie Macken 9045 6999

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Government privatisation gives with one hand takes away with the other

While Premier Mike Baird is holding the inner city community to ransom with the redevelopment of the Cleveland St school dependent on his wires and poles privatisation, he is also quietly selling off the Bridge St Education Department headquarters, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

(‘$60m high-rise high school for city’, Sydney Morning Herald, 16 Feb, p. 3, http://j.mp/1L1gT3L)

Dr Kaye said: “Mike Baird’s privatisation program gives with one hand and takes away with the other.

“While the Cleveland St development will provide much needed additional high school capacity in the City’s south, the site that could provide for the next increase in student numbers is scheduled for sale to the tourism industry.

“In NSW governments never learn from past mistakes.

“At the very least, the Bridge St site should be kept in public hands to make sure that inner city communities don’t face another education capacity crisis in ten years.

“The Liberal-Nationals’ pea-and-thimble privatisation game will take away public control over the future of the electricity industry and turn the obvious site for the next increase in student numbers into a luxury hotel.

“The Greens congratulate the parents and communities in the Inner City who lobbied so tirelessly and effectively to force the NSW government to act.

“However providing quality public education in Parramatta, Inner Sydney and across NSW should not be dependent on selling public assets.

“Ensuring that the Intensive English Centre is moved to an equally accessible and appropriate location is also essential,” Dr Kaye said.

For more information: John Kaye Media release: 16 February 2015

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Have your say about the Parramatta Road Urban Renewal Strategy

Parramatta Rd WestConnex Jan/Feb 2013 Model released? No Strathfield

The Draft Parramatta Road Urban Renewal Strategy has finally been released by UrbanGrowth NSW, thanks to political pressure. It is only on exhibition until 12 February 2015.

The Strategy proposes overriding local planning controls and could impose high rise residential development of up to 25 storeys onto large parts of Leichhardt, Lilyfield, Annandale and Camperdown.

The Strategy contains no public transport plans, no new open space for sporting fields and playgrounds and no new childcare centres, schools or community facilities to support the significant increase in population proposed. The timeline suggests that rezoning could start as early as next year.

Councils have raised concerns about the poor quality of the high density development maps and the general lack of information in the strategy.

Following exhibition until 12 February 2015, a report will be prepared by Urban Growth which will guide the development of more detailed rezoning plans for high rise development in the Inner West and West. It is therefore critical to make a submission on the Parramatta Road Urban Renewal Strategy now.
Get Informed and Involved
Read the Draft Strategy at the New Parramatta Road website
There is an online survey, however please be aware that this survey does not provide opportunity to respond to the proposed high rise development which is, in fact, the key issue. The survey limits its scope to some very general questions and to the aesthetics of Parramatta Road itself. Doing the survey alone is therefore not enough and it is important to also make a written submission.

Written submissions should be sent it to: info@newparramattard.com.au. You can also visit in person at the New Parramatta Road Public Display Office. Urban Growth NSW team members can answer your questions and provide information at the display office.

 

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The Greens announce candidate for Drummoyne

Greens candidate for Drummoyne, Alice Mantel

Greens candidate for Drummoyne, Alice Mantel

With the NSW State election 7 months away, the Greens have announced Alice Mantel as their candidate for the seat of Drummoyne.

I think it’s going to be a very volatile election this time,” said Ms Mantel. “There are so many issues to engage electors. Whether it’s the political integrity of our politicians or the lack of transparency in the proposed Westconnex project, most residents will have an issue that will directly concern them.”

In the Drummoyne electorate, she sees residents as being very concerned about the effect of the proposed WestConnex tollway on the amenity of the area, on the properties adjacent to the roadway and the increased road traffic which is likely to follow the widening of the road.

For a project which has not given any evidence of its supposed benefits, voters have real concerns about the lack of planning information and detailed costing for the proposal. Residents also face great uncertainty with the apparent changes in the actual route,” said Ms Mantel. “Instead of providing a coordinated transport plan with public transport alternatives, the tollway just reinforces the reliance of workers on their own vehicle to get to work. In a year or two the roads will be as congested as they are now, but residents will also be charged an estimated $4.50 each way on top of the costs of fuel and car use.”

Link this up with the proposed North West Rail Link and we still do not have an integrated transport system which enables commuters to travel easily around Sydney to get to work. Public transport infrastructure is the first and essential element of any new transport plan rather than just tunnels and roads. Putting the same amount of money into public transport instead would have far more benefit for many more people.

Ms Mantel is a lawyer and has lived in the local and inner west areas for the past 8 years. She runs her own legal practice focusing on family law but has also had extensive experience in the public sector. She has long had an interest in social justice issues particularly in relation to the treatment of refugees by the current and the previous Federal governments which she believes have been contrary to international law conventions.

From my perspective, the Greens have policies which focus on jobs and social justice for all, not just to benefit cronies of the winning party. Members of both of the recent State governments have had connections with corrupt individuals and have acted to benefit themselves at the expense of taxpayers,” said Ms Mantel.

Contact: Alice Mantel, ph 9702 5761; email: alice.mantel@canadabaygreens.org

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