13 September 2022

Where did the ACT's political parties get their money from last year?

| Lottie Twyford
Join the conversation
ACT Greens on stage on election night

The ACT Greens received the most donations in the 2021-22 financial year. Photo: ACT Greens.

The ACT Greens received the most donations and the highest individual donation of any political party in the Territory last year.

But that didn’t stop ACT Labor retaining its position as the most cashed-up party in the capital.

Former MLA Caroline Le Couteur gave the ACT Greens $27,333 in the 2021-22 financial year, according to recently published returns from Elections ACT. She retired from the ACT Legislative Assembly at the 2020 election.

Overall, the Greens received $313,691 in donations, compared with $230,406 donated to the Canberra Liberals and $181,056 to ACT Labor.

Labor still ended up on top, receiving more than $1.41 million in contributions. The Greens were second with $614,894 and the Canberra Liberals received $539,204.

READ ALSO Canberra 2030: David Pocock on the present, the future and some hard cold political facts

Labor benefited from almost $20,000 in free facilities from venues like the Canberra Labor Club, Ainslie Football and Social Club and the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU).

It also raked in just under $27,000 in “other gifts-in-kind”.

A gift-in-kind could include free or discounted electoral advertising or items for a fundraising auction.

The Liberals received almost $30,00 in gifts-in-kind, and the ACT Greens only $250.

The ACT Electoral Commission allocated the Labor Party $234,619, the Liberals $211,157 and the Greens $140,771.

Political parties are required to disclose any receipts totalling more than $1000.

Once again, the Labor Party’s single largest source of income was its investment vehicle, the 1973 Foundation Pty Ltd, which provided the party with $317,297.

And as usual, unions dominated the list of Labor’s big donors, especially the Community and Public Sector Union ($35,317), the CFMEU ($9575), the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association ($12,292) and the Transport Workers Union ($6891). All funds were listed as receipts.

Consultancy firm CMAX Advisory donated $7500 to the party while large donations from individuals came from Joe Andon and the founder of the Academy of Interactive Entertainment, John De Margheriti, who both gave $5000.

Labor backbencher Dr Marisa Paterson received a gift-in-kind from marketing agency Rowdy Inc. to the value of $11,000.

MLAs also contribute to their respective parties as a percentage of their salary.

READ ALSO How Barr plans to get the ACT, and the nation, to net zero

The Canberra Liberals’ largest source of income was Sentia Real Estate which provided it with $92,357.

Canberra Deakin Football Club and Erindale Vikings both provided the party with the use of facilities for free.

The Coalition for Conservation gave Leader Elizabeth Lee almost $25,000 in a “gift-in-kind”. Ms Lee said in a Tweet this had been for her trip to Glasgow last year.

Receipts of $1990 from the Canberra Data Centre, $1472 from Ernst and Young, $2540 from the Minerals Council of Australia and $3990 from Omni Executive were also listed.

The largest individual donation came from Ian Richardson in Berrima, who gave $1500 to the party.

Damian Cantwell

ACT Electoral Commissioner Damian Cantwell said the returns have yet to undergo compliance and accuracy checks. Photo: Region Media.

Party returns show details of the total amount of money received broken down into gifts and other receipts.

Any public funding received by a party is reported as a receipt, as are loans to the party, affiliation fees paid to a party and any levies imposed by a party upon its elected representatives.

The Territory’s Electoral Commissioner Damian Cantwell said the returns reflect the figures submitted by the political entities and are yet to undergo compliance and accuracy checks by the Commission.

The returns are available to view online.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.