IT’S CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY FOR OUR POLITICIANS
|28th Jan 2019|
Recieving gifts and favours is part and parcel of political life. This cheat-sheet provides a bird’s-eye view of gifts and hospitality as it stands today.
Tickets to sporting matches and cultural events are by far the most popular gift given to federal politicians according to the pecuniary interests register with over 700 gifted since 2016. Prolific corporate donors include Telstra, Qantas and various banks.
Accommodation is the next most popular freebie. Alcohol is a very popular gift, whether spirits, beer or or wine including (champers). While outdone by upgrades, memberships and subscriptions also prove extremely popular amongst the givers of society.
Gifts range in value from the less than ten dollars to $15,000 worth of flights and the John Lennon Educational Bus Tour complete with technical director, gifted to Labor's Glenn Sterle. For many gifts, value is claimed to be unknown or goes undeclared. Approximately one quarter of gifts and hospitality provide the dollar value and a small number are surrendered to the Minister's department.
Gifts and hospitality are only two of the item categories required to be declared within 28 days by federal politicians to the federal pecuniary interests register including real estate holdings, liabilities and trusts. That said, Julie Bishop notes that unlike the the rest of us, who don't get to decide what we do and don't declare to government agencies, that she only declares gifts received if she thinks there might be a perception of a conflict of interest.
Data from the pecuniary interests register is only one of the datasets that have been made searchable at AusGov.info. The site includes multiple financial transparency projects which allow for searching across tax data, political donations, charities data (including DGR status), tenders received (by top earning companies only at the moment) and budget data. You can search this information at each of the respective projects (via links provided above) and search across most of the datastes in one go here (this form is also included for ease of use on the top level index page)