There are two major datasets that this project is making use of, the political donations data from the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) and the Tax Transpareny dataset published by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
The Tax Transparency dataset has been integrated with political donations data to show which 'top-earning' corporations are also political donations and show the amount each corporation has paid to political parties in recent years.
It is important to note that only donations that fall above the disclosure threshold are made by the AEC in machine-readable format regardless of whether political parties provide records of all donations received to the AEC or not.
The disclosure threshold was $13,800 in the 2018-19 financial year and is pegged to the CPI. I have charted the breakdown by Party of the gap between the total receipts of each party and those that have been reported and published by the AEC.
With the exception of payments excluded from collection or publication by the AEC, this donations project includes all payments received by political parties regardless of whether they are designated as a political donation, 'other receipt' or government funding (with appropriate labelling).
This is because I think a lot of people want to know all sources of funding received by political parties regardless of their receipt type. Having said that, it is worth pointing out that only payments designated by the donor or party as a 'donation' attract the legal requirements associated with donating to a political party. ie Payments that are not donations can be made by charities or other types of organisations without the same legal implications that those payments would attract were they designated as 'donations'.
Figures include donations, payments and government funding.
Address information is not provided in AEC donations made by some individuals data due to privacy considerations. Location totals include only records where address information is available and payments or donations are above the disclosure threshold. Not all postcodes/suburbs have political donors. Figures are for the past six financial years.
Unexplained receipts (often referred to as 'dark money') are donations or 'other receipts' that are not disclosed by political parties to the AEC because they fall under the disclosure threshold, a reporting loophole which is indexed to the CPI. Greens - VIC disclose donations over 1k to the AEC but only donations above the threshold are included in the machine-readable data made available for re-use by the AEC.
This work is funded by the public via direct donations. There are three usual methods of donation depending on the needs of the donor.
Patreon allows for the donor to sign up regular donations and select their own level of support for monthly payment. I try to post monthly to the account to update donors on my latest work who are not visting my site or following me on Twitter. People who use this option tend to be those who prefer to be long term patrons of worthy projects or individuals and appreciate the convenience of set and forget, knowing they are taking care of those they value while leading busy lives. Some of my Patreon donors have been with me for years and I thank them for their longstanding generosity and commitment to keep the work I do.
Some people prefer to donate straight to my bank account either as a one off payment or at regular intervals as then this avoids the fee to me that is charged by Patreon or for other personal reasons. It has the benefit of not having to sign up to a new platform.
It can be a good idea to contact me and let me know if you are concerned the details you entered aren't correct - to ensure your money reaches me as intended.
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For people who just want a quick way to send money without signing up for anything or visiting a banking site, Stripe allows this via these buttons. The amount is set and is a one-off payment using credit card details. If you put in a valid email address then you should get a receipt. You should see AusGov.info on your bank statement details. The Stripe platform processes all financial information for a secure transation.
Whether a donor is an individual or an organisation, I take privacy issues seriously. For this reason unless I am given specific instructions about who a donor is and that you are happy for me to share publicly that you are a patron of my work I do not thank individual donors publicly.
Having said this, I believe that the best advertisement for my work is your support. It is much easier for people to believe others when they speak about the value of my work than when I make my own claims about it. Your willingness to share the reason you support my work is what inspires other people to support my work. Please take a moment every now and then and, if you are happy to be seen publicly supporting my work, share that you do with your networks.
Please do not become a donor if you think that I will only share public opinions with which you agree at all times. My donors are often anonymous or unknown to me and I can not possibly be expected to know or consult people prior to sharing my thoughts or retract them because someone disagrees with it. I have a degree in Sociology (amongst other studies), a wide range of programming, journalism and research skills and five decades of lived experience. If you do not trust my judgement with regard to the right to hold my own opinions please do not donate.
Policy, Activism and Testimonials
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.
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.
A COMMUNITY INITIATIVE TO MAKE RACISM, BIGOTRY, MISOGYNY & CLIMATE CHANGE DENIAL LESS PROFITABLE
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.
The NSW Ministerial Diaries data (not currently online) was supplied by Nick Evershed and associates. The pecuniary interests register data was originally supplied by icacpls however for over a year I have updated it manually.
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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. Data schemas & other information is available here. Click on the dataset icons.
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.
If I share these opinions/inferences in a tweet this does not imply that this is my opinion but that I am sharing the opinion of another person for comment.