The billionaire mining developer, Clive Palmer, (Pictured), likes the Tasmanian Branch of the Liberal Party … a lot.
Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) records released on February 1 reveal that the Will Hodgman’s party (HERE) received a $50,000 contribution from Mineralogy Pty Ltd, a Brisbane headquartered iron ore mining services company owned by Palmer. Mineralogy was also a major donor (HERE) to the National Party and its Queensland and Western Australian branches. The Tasmanian Branch lists income of over $673,000 in 2008/2009.
High thresholds for disclosure of payments to political parties have ensured that few details are publicly available on who the major donors to Tasmania’s major political parties have been in recent years. The Howard government instituted changes which require political parties to only disclose transactions of over $10,900. Previously the threshold, which last applied in 2004/2005, was $1,500.
The Australian Labor Party disclosure form (HERE) states that it received over $719,000 in 2008/2009 but lists four transactions over the threshold. However, only one, of $20,000 from the Queensland branch of the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union, is listed as a donation.
The other three—$15,840 from Pickles Auctions, $13,326 from the Tasmanian branch of the Shop Distributive & Allied Employees’ Association and $11,500 from Franklin MHA. Julie Collins—are identified in the party’s return as “other receipt”. (The AEC notes that many of the transactions disclosed “are not donations and may represent, for example, subscription fees or proceeds of goods sold. Although not required by law, most Political Parties and Associated Entities mark each receipt as a ‘donation’ or an ‘other receipt’.”)
The Tasmanian Greens return (HERE) states that it received $458,151 in 2008/2009 with one $15,000 contribution from an individual.