Mineralogy, Woodside among biggest political donors | Ralph Lauren

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Almost half of all Federal political donations over the past year came from just four companies and one industry group.

The largest single donor revealed on Monday in the Australian Electoral Commission’s figures was billionaire Clive Palmer’s Mineralogy, which gave $5.9 million to the mining magnate’s own United Australia Party.

Other big donors included Pratt Holdings ($1.55 million), Woodside Energy ($335,415), Macquarie Group ($251,230) and the Australian Hotels Association ($232,301).

All of the Pratt Holdings donations went to the National and Liberal parties, while Woodside gave to both the coalition and Labor party organisations.

The $8.3 million in donations from five organisations represented 46 per cent of the total received in 2019/20, according to an analysis by the Centre for Public Integrity.

Overall, the Liberal-National coalition received $59 million in donations, compared with Labor’s $50.7 million.

Professor Joo Cheong Tham, a director of the Centre for Public Integrity, said the absence of caps on political donations meant a handful of donors would dominate.

“That the most significant level of government has the weakest political finance laws is a grave weakness of Australian democracy,” Prof Tham said.


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