On Monday, the ACT Electoral Commission released financial disclosure returns for ACT political parties, non-party candidates, third-party campaigners, associated entities, and broadcasters and publishers for the 2020 ACT Legislative Assembly election.
ACT Labor spent $1,052,682 altogether, and the Canberra Liberals $1,066,876.
The ACT Greens spent just over an eighth as much – $124,768 – and managed to win six seats and a swing towards the party. New MLA Andrew Braddock commented on Facebook: “The Greens have shown that money isn’t everything when you have a community behind you.”
|Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch)||Canberra Liberals||ACT Greens|
|Consultant & agent fees||$561,483||$85,049||$0|
|Material not required to be authorised (e.g. printing and postage, business cards promoting candidacy, T-shirts, badges and buttons, pens, pencils, balloons)||$16,583||$312,211||$17,924|
|Matter required to be authorised (e.g. how-to-vote cards, posters, pamphlets)||$303,978||$367,981||$84,863|
|Opinion polling & research||$99,074||$115,537||$0|
|Publish ads (in news publications)||$1,000||$27,602||$4,100|
Many election participants also contributed their own money to their campaigns. Labor’s Yvette Berry, the Deputy Chief Minister, spent most: $10,000.
(from most to least money)
|Caroline Le Couteur||Greens (retired)||$1,500|
The returns also list gifts of $1,000 to parties or non-party candidates. ACT Labor received $90,759.60 in gifts from unions:
|Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union – The Construction and General Division ACT Divisional Branch||$50,000|
|Australian Workers Union NSW Branch||$14,000|
|Community and Public Sector Union||$10,420|
|Shop Distributive Allied Employees Assoc SDA (NSW Branch)||$9,229.80|
|United Services Union||$5,205.80|
|United Workers Union||$1,904|
Slater and Gordon Lawyers also contributed $2,000 to Labor.
Many Liberal supporters, on the other hand, were developers and builders:
|Citriene & Co||$1,300|
|Constantine Tsoulias & Canma Properties / Constantine & Anna Tsoulias Family Trust||$2,000|
|Elvin Group (concrete contractor)||$1,300|
|O’Connor Harris Solicitors||$1,300|
|Perin Group Management (construction company)||$1,300|
|Premier National (consultancy agent)||$1,500|
|Young Liberal Movement of Australia||$2,000|
The Licensed Clubs Association of the ACT donated $2,000 to ACT Labor (including a $500 raffle / donation) and $5,000 to the Canberra Liberals.
CW has not listed individual donors.
The published returns reflect the figures submitted by the electoral participants, and are yet to undergo compliance and accuracy checks by the ACT Electoral Commission, a spokesperson said.
Canberra Weekly approached the ACT Electoral Commission for comment; the AEC stated that, as an independent statutory authority, they were unable to provide responses to our questions. “It is not the role or position of the Commission to offer such public commentary.”
The returns can be inspected on the ACT Electoral Commission’s website, or in person by prior appointment at the office of the Electoral Commissioner at Level 6, 221 London Circuit, Canberra City, ACT 2601, between 9am and 5pm on weekdays.
Enquiries should be made to the office of the Electoral Commissioner on (02) 6205 0033 or to [email protected].
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