The Australian Electoral Commission has released the political donations list for the 2015-16 year, revealing the identity of the major donors from the period surrounding the Turnbull government’s re-election.
Founder and CEO of Melbourne-headquartered DWS Limited, Danny Wallis, made the single biggest donation from the technology industry, giving $105,000 to the Liberal Party.
Collectively, data centre and communications provider Macquarie Telecom was the tech entity that donated the most to politics, dishing out $88,000 to Labor and $20,000 to the Liberals for a total of $108,000.
Optus was next on the list, giving $31,500 to each of the two major parties plus $1,500 to the NSW branch of Labor. National communications infrastructure company Vocus handed $50,000 to the Liberals as the fourth biggest tech donor.
The other tech player of note was job classifieds site Seek, which donated $22,500 to the Liberals.
Village Roadshow, while not a technology company, has had a big bearing on the sector with its leadership against television and film piracy. In December it was part of a group of entertainment companies that won a Federal Court case that forced internet service providers to block certain bit-torrent sites.
It ended up as one of the larger donors on the AEC list, giving a total of $636,200 – with the Liberals getting $357,000 and Labor claiming the rest.
Overall, mining identity Paul Marks topped the list, donating a whopping $1.3 million to the Liberal Party.
Malcolm Turnbull’s reported $1 million donation to his own party during last year’s election campaign did not appear, as it may have been made after June 30 – meaning it would appear on the 2016-17 list.
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