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Alcohol industry donations to Victorian political parties: 2010-11 to 2012-13

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Researcher

Dr Norman Thompson

Summary

This paper examines Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) data for donations from the alcohol industry to the major Victorian political parties between 2010-11 and 2012-13.

The current disclosure threshold for donations by the AEC is now over $12,800.

Outcomes

Key findings of this report included that:

  • The alcohol industry donated $901,829 to the major Victorian political parties between 2010-11 and 2012-13.
  • The Victorian Liberals received the largest donations from alcohol industry ($546,042), followed by Victorian Labor ($298,107) and the Victorian Nationals ($57,680). The Victorian Greens received no donations from the alcohol industry because they have a policy that indicates that they do not accept donations from the alcohol industry.
  • More political donations were received in 2012-13 ($406,583), when compared to 2010-11 ($371,367) and 2011-12 ($123,870).
  • The Victorian Liberals received $4,083,715, when including dividends and the sale of shares from alcohol interests, held by the Cormack Foundation, a Victorian Liberals entity.
  • The Australian Hotels Association, Victoria (AHA) donated $686,681 over the three years, while Crown contributed $120,031. Together these two companies gave over 89 per cent of the known donations in this period, with 76 per cent from the AHA and 13 per cent from Crown.
  • The donations from the AHA were greatest for the political party in Government. The AHA donated $164,661 to Labor in the weeks before the 27 November 2010 Victorian State Election and the Coalition partners received $127,500 during the same period. The polls prior to the election suggested the election would be close, but that Labor would win. After a narrow Coalition win, the shift in AHA donations to the Coalition began. By 2012-13 the Coalition received $446,320 from the AHA compared to only $22,700 to Labor.
  • In the weeks before the November 2010 Victorian State Election, the AHA donated $164,661 to Labor and $127,500 to the Coalition partners.

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This research is used to inform our approach to evidence-based alcohol policy development, ensuring that the solutions we are advocating for are informed by research. FARE’s research is also often quoted by governments, other not-for-profit organisations and researchers in public discussions about alcohol, demonstrating that FARE is seen as a leading source of information.

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