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Campaign donations

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has today published details of donations made to political parties at last year’s federal election.

Consistent with disclosure requirements, the David Pocock party has lodged an annual disclosure return detailing the total donations the party received up to 30 June 2022.

The David Pocock party was established to enable Senator Pocock’s candidacy to appear  “above the line” on the Senate ballot paper, where some 81% of Canberrans cast their vote.

In total the David Pocock party received $1.7 million in donations, both cash and in kind, from 768 donors. The two ACT Senate seats encompass three federal electorates and have never been held by anyone other than Labor or Liberal senators. 

Climate 200’s total cash and in-kind contribution to Senator Pocock’s campaign amounted to $856,382. Of Climate 200’s 11,200 donors, 1,596, or fourteen per cent, of them were from the ACT.

The largest contribution from an individual donor to Senator Pocock’s campaign was $224,000. Many supporters set up small regular donations and together with an army of 2,200 local volunteers, helped elect an independent candidate for the first time in the ACT.

“Last year the people of the ACT made history by electing an Independent Senator for the first time,” Senator Pocock said.

“I am enormously grateful for the generous support without which my campaign would not have succeeded and for the opportunity to represent a community I love.

“My team and I have had a busy eight months and I’m proud of the work we have done on behalf of the people of the ACT. 

“From local issues like helping to ensure Territory Rights were restored, to getting world-class coverage for our firefighters for cancers caused on the job, to securing a commitment from government to make opiate dependence treatments more affordable and accessible to those who need them, 

“Last year was the start of ramping up Australia’s climate ambition. My team and I negotiated changes to the Climate Change Act to include an assessment of the climate risk in the annual statement on climate change, measures that increase the transparency of the advice given to government, a requirement for public consultation including with the scientific community when the Climate Change Authority is advising the minister on the annual statement on climate change, and a change to the Australian Renewable Energy  Act to allow funding of technologies that will reduce emissions such as electric vehicle chargers. 

“We also helped negotiate changes to the Treasury Laws Amendment (Electric Car Discount) Billto exclude plug-in hybrid vehicles after three years.

“My team and I also worked to influence critical pieces of national policy, negotiating amendments to the Implementing Care Reform Bill, Cheaper Child Care Bill, High Speed Rail Billand other legislation while also negotiating the establishment of the Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee to report to Government before every budget on the state of Australia’s social security system and level of support it provides.

“I look forward to continuing this work on behalf of the people of the ACT, Norfolk Island and Jervis Bay and playing a constructive role in our nation’s parliament to achieve the best outcomes for our community.”

Senator Pocock also continues his support for donation reform alongside other electoral changes such as more equitable representation for the Territories and the introduction of federal truth in political advertising laws.

“We also need to make it easier for a broader range of people to competitively run for election and represent their communities. This means we need to reform the system to make it more equitable and that’s what I have supported in my submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters’ inquiry into the 2022 federal election,” Senator Pocock said.

“When you look at the amount of money spent by the major parties, and who they are accepting donations from, I think it highlights the urgent need for reform,” Senator Pocock said.

“We know that companies seeking to buy influence is not good for our democracy.

“Donations are necessary to run a campaign but I put guidelines in place for my campaign donations and who I would accept donations from. 

“Today we see that the major parties once again accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of donations from fossil fuel companies, developers, banks, alcohol and gambling companies and their representatives - people with clear vested interests in key national policy debates.

“States and territories already have far stricter laws around political donations and people want this addressed at a federal level.”

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