Contributions by the unions to the ALP (Senator Fierravanti-Wells)

Updated: 23 December 2010

This advice sets out the Australian Electoral Commission's (AEC's) conclusions in relation to the matters described below.

The Matter:

Whether the contributions made during the 2005/06 financial year had been appropriately disclosed, by the following unions:

  • $5 000 from the AMWU to the ALP (Tasmanian Branch);
  • $4 000 from the AMWU to the ALP (NSW Branch);
  • $20 000 from the CFMEU, Construction and General Division, to the ALP (Tasmanian Branch);
  • $26 000 from the CFMEU, Forestry, Mining and Energy Division, to the ALP (Tasmanian Branch); and
  • $100 000 from the CFMEU, Mining and Energy Division, to the ALP (NSW Branch).

When matter raised:

Senator Fierravanti-Wells first raised the matter in Senate Estimate hearings in February 2007.

Legislation:

Part XX of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

AEC process:

This enquiry has taken 14 months to complete.

At the Senate Estimates hearing in February 2007, Senator Fierravanti-Wells was advised the payments would be examined during regular compliance reviews of the parties concerned.

In response to a Question on Notice from Senator Fierravanti-Wells following the May 2007 Estimates Hearing, the AEC advised that the AMWU donation of $5 000 had been disclosed.

The 2005/06 Annual Return compliance review of the Australian Labor Party (Tasmanian Branch) took place in June 2007. The AEC determined that the $5 000 AMWU donation had been disclosed in a donor return, but that the $20 000 and $26 000 CFMEU donations had not.

The AEC brought the apparent outstanding disclosure obligations to the attention of the CFMEU, and the payments were subsequently disclosed in a donor return.

The AEC also conducted a compliance review of the 2005/06 Annual Returns for ALP NSW Branch in June 2007. The AEC determined that the $4 000 AMWU donation did not require disclosure. The disclosure threshold for donations was more than $10 000, during the period 8 December 2005 to 30 June 2006.

The CFMEU has lodged an Associated Entity Annual Return for the financial year ended 30 June 2006. Accordingly, the CFMEU has fulfilled its disclosure obligations. Under section 314AEA(1)(b) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 an associated entity need only disclose total payments, individual donations do not need to be disclosed.

AEC conclusion:

The investigation of all payments has now been resolved and no further disclosure is required.

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