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Ascot Capital, Mineralogy, Wesfarmers top political donors

PROPERTY developer Ascot Capital, Clive Palmer’s mining group, Mineralogy, and conglomerate Wesfarmers were the biggest donors to political parties in Western Australia in 2006-07, data released by the Australian Electoral Commission has shown. Mr Palmer’s Mineralogy donated $85,000 to the WA branch of the Labor Party. His company also donated $100,000 to the Liberal Party nationally and $60,000 to the National Party in Mr Palmer’s home state of Queensland. Wesfarmers provided financial support to the three major political parties, donating to both their WA branches and their national branches. For instance, it donated $25,000 to the Liberal Party in WA and $20,000 nationally. It was slightly less generous to Labor, donating $25,000 to WA branch and $10,000 nationally. Corporate Advisers Australia Pty Ltd, a company associated with Ascot Capital, donated $30,000 to the National Party’s WA branch and $15,000 to the Liberal Party’s WA branch. Ascot bought Jandakot airport, is developing an industrial estate at Jandakot, and has plans to redevelop the WACA cricket ground. The Electoral Commission returns also disclosed that a who’s who of Perth business executives provided financial support to the Liberal Party of WA, by paying $25,000 each to be members of the Leaders Forum. Members include former GRD chairman Brettney Fogarty, corporate lawyer Michael Lishman, Azure Capital chairman John Poynton, Austal boss John Rothwell, Patersons Securities executive director Aaron Constantine, investor Charlie Morgan and mining entrepreneur Michael Kiernan. Corporate members forum include Gordon Martin’s Coogee Chemicals, Kerry Stokes’ Australian Capital Equity, Peter Laurance’s Pivot Group, Nigel Satterley’s Satterley Group, and listed companies Great Southern, Wesfarmers and Woodside. Mark Beyer

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