The 2004 election donations are still unknown. Greens Senator Kerry Nettle said the public have to wait until 2006 before finding out where political parties got their funding to pay for their 2004 election campaigns.
Senator Nettle said that large corporate donations clearly buy influence and to that extent they are a corruption of the political system and should be outlawed.
The February Australian Electoral Commission return shows that many corporations gave money to the major parties. However, the full list of financial backers and who funded Family First’s expensive and aggressive advertising campaign won’t be known until 2006.
AEC records show that resource companies (including woodchippers), property developers and finance companies continue to be big donors. The Greens are the only major political party that has not accepted corporate donations.
For those companies not wanting to be upfront, corporate donations can be hidden and funnelled through associated entities such as the Liberal’s Free Enterprise Foundation. It appears that the lion’s share of donations to the major parties is given this way.