01/02/2017 - 16:00

Businesses, unions dig deep in election year

01/02/2017 - 16:00

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Western Australian businesses contributed nearly $2 million to the two major political parties in the 2016 financial year, according to recently released disclosures, while trade unions gave about $1.1 million directly to the local branch of the Labor Party.

Businesses, unions dig deep in election year

Western Australian businesses contributed nearly $2 million to the two major political parties in the 2016 financial year, according to recently released disclosures, while trade unions gave about $1.1 million directly to the local branch of the Labor Party.

About three quarters of business contributions were to the Liberal Party, with around $180,000 given to the party’s federal body and $1.3 million to the state division.

The Labor Party received about $470,000 from businesses, about half split between federal and state branches.

Those figures include funding through the Liberal Party’s 500 club and Labor’s business roundtable.

The national bodies of both parties received about $11 million in donations.

The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union WA office contributed around $135,000 to the WA Labor Party as it sought to fight off a move by the federal government to reinstate the Australian Building & Construction Commission watchdog, which provided the trigger for a double dissolution election.

The Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association WA was even more generous, with nearly $420,000 of donations.

Still more may have been donated to the federal ALP through each union’s national office.

Woodside Petroleum gave cash to both parties, with $123,000 to Labor and $125,000 to the Liberals, as did Crown Resorts, with $50,000 to the Liberals and $32,374 to Labor.

Australian Gypsum Industries ($196,000), Northern Star Resources ($45,000), BGC Residential ($40,000) and Wesfarmers ($35,000) all donated to the Liberal Party.

Investment manager Willy Packer donated $25,000 to the Liberal Party, while businessman Jon Fogarty pitched in more than $100,000.

The WA branch of the Greens received just less than $1 million of donations, largely from the national Greens body and individual donors.

Perth mining industry software entrepreneur Norman Pater has put his money where his mouth is, with his private company Pater Investments supporting the Greens WA to the tune of $99,500.

Mr Pater founded Costing & Logistics Systems, now Scope Systems, in 1994 after moving from South Africa. Its strategy was supplying and supporting quality enterprise systems for the mining and contracting industries.

He handed over the management reins at Scope Systems in 2008 but has remained a director. He was also a director of Melbourne-based IT group Pronto until 2012, a decade after he backed Pronto’s management team in an MBO, from which, according to Scope Systems biography, he emerged as the major shareholder.

“Today Norman is passionately engaged with the environmental movement, being a member and active supporter of Climate Reality Project, Gondwana Link, Environmental Defenders Office and the Conservation Council of WA,” his biography states.

“This engagement provided the impetus for Scope having its own environmentally-friendly head office and operating ideals.”

Last year, Scope Systems moved into new premises in an old warehouse in West Leederville, which Mr Pater said at the time was delivering on his vision to have the city’s greenest office.

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam officially opened the premises.

P&N Bank (the former Police & Nurses Credit Society) was also named in the disclosure documents relating to the WA Greens, with a $24,333 receipt marked other*. A Greens spokesperson said this related to interest on a term deposit with the bank.

 

*Editor's note: The information relating to P&N Bank was wrongly reported as a donation in the original article. 

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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