Consultants, tech sector pour donations into political parties

Joseph Brookes
Senior Reporter

Consultancies, tech companies, lobby groups and a former Industry minister’s business donated more than $1.5 million directly to Australia’s major political parties during the election year. The Big Four consulting firms alone donated nearly $860,000 to the Labor and Coalition parties.

Political donation data for 2021-22 was released on Wednesday, revealing some of the fundraising of political groups during the election year.

The big four consulting firms donated a combined $859, 655, split relatively evenly between the Labor and Coalition parties. It’s an increase from the $723,438 the four companies donated in 2020-21.

In the last financial year, which included the election and change of government, PwC donated $246,532, split $121470 to Labor and $121,762 to the Liberal Party. The consulting giant also gave $3,300 to the Nationals.

KPMG also gave $242,455 to major parties, split $125,635 to the Liberal Party and $116,820 to Labor.

Deloitte donated $240,432, with $91,411 going to Labor and $149,021 going to the Coalition.

Ernst and Young donated $130,263, with three quarters of this ($99,046) going to the Labor Party and $31,190 to the Coalition.

McKinsey only made one donation, $24,200 to the Australian Labor Party.

Tech companies and lobby groups also made donations.

The influential Tech Council of Australia gave $63,000 to the major parties, with Labor receiving slightly more from the tech industry lobby group.

Software giant SAP gave more than $51,000 to the major parties, favouring Labor with around $4000 more.

US multinational Amazon donated more than $100,000, with a slight edge to the Liberal Party, which received around $55,000 from the tech giant.

Australian gig economy platform Airtasker donated $165,195, favouring Labor with $110,195 over the Coalition donations of $55,000.

Macquarie Telecom donated $64, 500 to Labor and $49, 726 to the Coalition.

Brisbane data and cyber firm Cryptoloc Technology also favoured Labor, donating $102,177 to the party compared to a single $22,000 donation to the Liberal National Party in Queensland.

The consulting and lobbying firm run by Christopher Pyne, who briefly held the Industry, Innovation and Science portfolio in the Turnbull government, donated $16,100 – all to the Liberal Party.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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