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Liberal and Labor Donations Secrecy Continues

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 1 February 2023

Tags: Political Donations, Transparency, Integrity, Corruption

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

The Australian Electoral Commission’s 2021-22 financial year electoral returns have once again highlighted the opaque, corrupted nature of political donations in Tasmania.

The AEC figures show the Liberal and Labor parties are receiving millions in donations and other receipts, and only disclosing the bare minimum. This is despite both parties professing to support donations transparency.

The Liberal and Labor parties need to come clean on who gave them money, how much and for what purpose. 

In 2021, the Liberals received income totalling $3.8 million dollars, but only disclosed the origin of $629,000. What was disclosed featured a range of big corporates and special interests.

Labor received $1.1 million, and only disclosed $113,000 – nearly two thirds of which was receipts from the Australian Tax Office.

Labor disclosed just one donor – the Shop Distributive & Allied Employees Association, who donated $47,000. Without the ATO income from Labor’s disclosure, they disclosed just 4.6% of their million.

There’s no excuse for this kind of secrecy. Tasmanians deserve to know who is funding political parties, but they are being treated with contempt by the major parties.

There might not yet be laws forcing the Liberals and Labor to do better, but there is nothing stopping either party from making voluntary disclosures - like the Greens do.*

Both parties’ behaviour suggests they are still being influenced by the vast sums of cash that’s being secretly funnelled into their coffers by wealthy special interests.

If Jeremy Rockliff and Rebecca White are serious about transparency and integrity, they’d instruct their respective parties to do the right thing.

If they won’t, the question is - why? What is so wrong with their donations that they need to kept secret?

*Note: The Tasmanian Greens voluntarily disclose all donors who have donated over $1500 in a year on our website. The donor list is updated year-round, and when a new donor crosses this threshold the website is updated in real time.