All up Tasmania’s three largest political parties received just over $2.8 million in 2012/13 according to the latest annual returns released yesterday by the Australian Electoral Commission. However, as only those individuals or organisations who contribute over $12,100 are required to be disclosed, the identity of many donors remains secret. The latest AEC data reveals that less than one-fifth of the source of funding for the three major Tasmanian political parties is public.
Nor is the information released all that current. Information is only required to be supplied to the Australian Electoral Commission in October for the preceding financial year and then only publicly released in the following February.
While public funding is a major source of support for political parties, this is payable after each federal election and would not have been included in the 2012/13 returns.
Liberal Party of Australia
The Tasmanian Division of the Liberal Party declared income of $1,593,072 in 2012/13.
As of June 30, 2013 the party had a debt of $120,020.
Of this only $45,000 came from two contributions. These comprised:
• $25,000 from the Australian Association of Pathology Practices; and
• $20,000 from Doug Dickinson of Moonah.
The Tasmanian Branch of the Labor Party declared red total income of $746,331 in 2012/13.
As of June 30, 2013 the party had a debt of $163,306.
There were only three disclosed contributors accounting for just $94,990 of the party’s income.
The three contributors were:
• $55,019 from the Health and Community Services Union;
• $25,500 from Greg Austin of New Town; and
• $14,968 from the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association.
The Tasmanian Greens had total income of $488,826 in 2012/13. Only one contribution over the threshold was reported and that was $18,642 from the national office of the Australian Greens.
As of June 30, 2013 the party had a debt of $69,885 of which just over $27,000 was to the national office.
The Tasmanian Greens transferred $67,568 to the Australian Greens in the 2012/13 year.
The latest Australian Electoral Commission information on disclosures by political parties can be accessed here.
* Bob Burton, Who’s donating to Tasmanian political parties? February 2010.