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Privacy and your donation

Whether a donor is an individual or an organisation, I take privacy issues seriously. In order to avoid breaching people's sense of privacy, unless I am directly contacted about a donation by the donor, I do not thank them unless having a direct conversation about a donation.

Having said this, most people become donors when they read that someone they respect suggests they do. Please take a moment every now and then and, if you are happy to be seen publicly supporting my work, share my work with your networks. While I am yet to receive a minimum wage for what I do I want people to know that I am grateful for both the financial and moral support I receive.


Marginal
Fairly Safe
Safe
MarginalFairly SafeSafe

Grants

Official portrait of Prime Minister and Cabinet

Prime Minister and Cabinet

Ministers responsible for the Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio awarded 21.53% of grants to FAIRLY SAFE electorates

Grants

Official portrait of Jim Chalmers

RANKIN

Between Jan 2018 & April 2021 orgs in the SAFE electorate of RANKIN held by ALP MP Jim Chalmers received over $88.62 million in grants

Charities

Official portrait of Michelle Rowland

Greenway

Based on ACNC data, in 2019 charities in the electorate of Greenway held by ALP MP Michelle Rowland declared over $336.43 million in revenue.

Franking Credits

Official portrait of Garth Hamilton

GROOM

In the 17-18 tax year, residents in the electorate of GROOM held by LNP MP Garth Hamilton received franking credits worth $100.80 million.

Political Parties

ALP PARTY

Between 2013 and 2021 the ALP PARTY declared $515,256,158 to the AEC.

Associated Entities

Mouse over to see content

NORTH EASTERN BUSINESS CIRCLE

Between 2013 and 2020 the LIBS-affiliated associated entity NORTH EASTERN BUSINESS CIRCLE declared $18,797 to the AEC.

Third Parties

Mouse-over to see content

GENDER AWARENESS AUSTRALIA

Between 2013 and 2019 the un-affiliated 3rd party GENDER AWARENESS AUSTRALIA spent $87,454 on political messaging.

Campaigners

KP INDEPENDENTS

Between 2018 and 2020 the un-affiliated campaigner KP INDEPENDENTS spent $281,944 on political messaging.

Megacorps

COLES

Between 2013 and 2021 COLES declared $21,876,196,080 revenue, paid $207,561,956 in tax & paid $9,032,792 to political orgs.

Payments from tax transparency list corps to political orgs includes donations & other receipts (subscriptions, rent, payment for services etc) to political parties, their associated entities, third parties, campaigners and political candidates.


This site holds multiple data projects which allow the public to analyse government data on spending & influence across all sectors. Use the ☰ button to navigate between projects, or use the randomly generated flip cards below to get an overview & share tid-bits with your Twitter network.

You can filter the flip card content using menu the above or click to geo-locate results to your electorate.

Mouse over to flip the card & click the Twitter icon to post pre-set message (which you can edit) or click the chart icon to examine the data.

Media and Journalism

The Guardian Innovation Australia The New Daily Eureka Street AusVotes 2019 Independent Australia Electronic Frontiers Australia Crikey Open Australia Foundation AOGPN blog Open Knowledge Foundation EGovAu Blog The Conversation IdeasHoist ABC PM Radio Power to Persuade Croakey International Budget Partnership Sydney Morning Herald Online Opinion New Matilda No Fibs Sunday Life Magazine
Bill McLennan

FORMER HEAD, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS

I was impressed by the #Censusfail submission to this (Inquiry) Committee. It very clearly showed some good analysis that would have helped the ABS to run a better Census if it had done such research before developing the Census proposal. It also saved me from explaining the current thrust in government with the Government Data Linkage Project, and its likely links to the Census. Bill McLennan (Former Head of the ABS, Former Chairman United Nations Statistical Commission) in his Submission to the 2016 Inquiry.
Garry Brooke

FORMER DIRECTOR, APPROPRIATIONS MANAGEMENT TEAM, DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE

I’ve worked with Rosie Williams on budget data transparency since November 2013. Rosie has developed her project into the best government data transparency initiative I know... continually updated and improved to make underlying data intelligible and to focus on key aspects for analysis. My interest has particularly been on the transparency of federal budget data.
Scott Ludlam

FORMER SENATOR, THE AUSTRALIAN GREENS

We could hear from digital rights organisations like the Privacy Foundation, Digital Rights Watchand Electronic Frontiers Australia and from specialist researchers like Rosie Williams and Asher Wolf, who have led the debate online.

Sleeping Giants

ADVERTISING ACTIVISM

In late 2018, Sleeping Giants Australia, 'a community initiative to make racism, bigotry, misogyny and climate change denial less profitable', used data I provided to them on the parliamentarians who have accepted subscriptions to Foxtel in their campaign against racism. Sky took umbridge at this campaign and Sleeping Giants & similar campaigns have been the focus of media commentary ever since. My Tweet was pictured in a front-page diatribe in The Australian against Denise Shrivell who The Australian claimed is resonsible for the Sleeping Giants Australia account.



I launched the domain AusGov.info at Linux Conference Australia in January 2018, however this work is the result of years devoted to programming and transparency work beginning in 2012 and progressively expanded and improved upon over the intervening years.

Credits

The pecuniary interests register data was originally supplied by icacpls however I have updated it manually (or not as time permits) for the past couple of years.

Site icons by Flaticon.com

Flag icons by www.IconDrawer.com

Images from pixabay.com

Disclaimer

The figures in this site are either raw data at line-item level or totals/percentages - which are the result of algorithms or joins (programmatic matches between two lists) - written by myself in MySQL, which in turn are based on open data provided by Australian government agencies.

This data ranges in quality between datasets, is updated at different intervals and is published to different standards and in different formats.

The data you see in this site is edited by myself (unused fields are removed, names of programs/agencies/entities are spelled consistently within & between datasets). Data cleaning is a significant job. All care has been taken to represent every single figure accurately, however mistakes can be made either by the entity providing data to the government, the agency providing the data back to the public or at my end as I further transform this data for use.

It is important to understand that while opinions and inferences can be made based on the data on this site, that the data is not in and of itself an inference or an opinion. Inferences and opinions using data in this site remain the legal responsibility of the author of those opinions.

Uncovering what the powerful want to keep hidden is a momentous job, yet this work is under immediate threat.

Dark Money In Politics: Expanding The Scope


Uncovering what the powerful want to keep hidden is a momentous job, yet this work is under immediate threat.

Dark Money In Politics: Expanding The Scope

Parties, Associated Entities, Political & Electoral Campaigners (2013-2020)

All Entities

All Political Parties By Year

Major Parties By Party

Associated Entities

Political Campaigners

Data from Political Campaigners has only been collected since 2018-19.

Electoral Campaigners

This data is not broken down by year because returns are not collected by financial year but political events (eg By-election).

For the past month I have been working with payments made to political parties, their associated entities, third parties, campaigners and candidates between the 2013-2020 financial years inclusive. I have calculated the propotion able to be traced back to its source by each entity type and the proportion they receive for which there is no information provided - either because they fall beneath the overly generous disclosure threshold or through lack of compliance.

When taken as whole, only 36% of political funding can be traced to its source. Of all the entity types, Associated Entities have the highest proportion of undisclosed receipts though this could be a reflection of the typical size of payment they receive- an artifact of the high disclosure threshold that applies.

The stark difference in the proportion of funds received by these organisations able to be traced to its source and how much remains shrouded in mystery shows that Australia has a major problem when it comes to transparency and accountability in political funding. .

Previous analysis of dark money in Australian politics (both by myself and others) has been limited to payments reported by poltical parties in their Annual Returns. I am not aware of any other attempts to quantify and analyse dark money across Annual AEC Returns from Associated Entities, Third Parties, Campaigners and Candidates.

One area I have found of particular interest is the presence of registered charities interacting financially with political entities. It strikes me as a curious phenomenon that there are charities of significant wealth that are also spending large amounts of money on influencing elections. After all, charities have particular responsiblities if they are to maintain their registration which look skeptically upon political communications that favour specific parties or significant political donations.

I have identified well over 100 charities (including one with voluntarily revoked registration) that have paid money to either a political party, associated entity, political candidate, campaigner or third party or who are themselves registered political campaigners, third parties, registered lobbyists or their client.

The added data shows that in the 2017-18 financial year, the Insitute of Public Affairs made a $25,000 donation to the Menzies Research Centre which is an Associated Entity of the Liberal Party.

The Minderoo Foundation, a registered charity funded by mining magnate Andrew Forrest and his wife Nicola spent enough on influencing the outcome of elections to require it to be registered as both a Political Campaigner and a Third Party. Fortescue Metals, the company owned by Andrew Forrest has paid out over $460,000 since 2013 to a variety of political organisations.

One of the main challenges in working with political donations and related data is the lack of ABN in the data made available by the AEC for download. This means there is no effective way to match donors with other data charities or lobbyists registers. Matches have to be done manually and when there is a lot of data with a lot of variations or poorly worded information it requires manual searches to find out what kind of organisation it is or even what the full name is (if it only appears as an acronym).

Doing something for the first time also carries the weighty challenge that there is not a reference against which I can check the analysis. There is a lot more research to be done now that the data is in and in reasonably fit shape. The analysis does not end with the first acceptably clean data. Further research needs to be done into the issues the lack of accountability causes such as the influence of corporate donations on policy, especially the impact of the mining industry on climate change policy.

I have also integrated the Federal Lobbyists Register for the first time as I noticed payments to political entities from registered lobbyists. I am still in the process of filling out the lobbyist client data because the federal register does not make this downloadable. Such manual work takes time but will allow me to show when political donors are also clients of registered lobbyists and what those lobbyists have paid to political entities.

This quick summary of work to date does not touch on the many improvements and additions that I believe make finding politically active organisations and people far more comprehensive than has been available in the past. Please check it out.

To carry on with this research to tease out, research and get expert input on these topics means this work is not finished and I need to put a call out for donors to help me simply survive from month to month. As things stand and despite delivering this very complex work, I have fewer donors now than I have for the past two years. I will need to get on a stronger financial footing or face uncomfortable decisions that will need to be made immediately.

I have continued with this work for a decade now and despite the lack of financial support however if I can not make the bare minimum required to get from month to month, this work will be under immediate threat. I suspect that might make some powerful people happy but all I can do is put it to my readers to decide its future fate.



Keeping the bastards honest means filling in the missing pieces.

The Missing Piece


Keeping the bastards honest means filling in the missing pieces.

The Missing Piece

This special report provides a window into the murky world of political donations. Updated Feb 2021 with 2019-20 data.

Mind The Gap: An Interactive Report Into Accountability In Political Donations


This special report provides a window into the murky world of political donations. Updated Feb 2021 with 2019-20 data.

Mind The Gap: An Interactive Report Into Accountability In Political Donations

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