Source: The Mercury, 2 February, 1999, p.9

ALP the winner in fight for poll funding support

in Canberra 

CORPORATE Australia shelled 
out millions of dollars to stock the 
Liberal and Labor war chests for 
last year's election. 
Many of Australia's biggest 
companies-which benefit from 
government contracts and often 
depend on a sympathetic ear- 
helped the major parties bank 
more than $45 million last finan- 
cial year. 
The ALP was the big winner, 
recovering some of the ground it 
lost when it was deserted by 
corporate donors after its thrash- 
ing in the 1996 election. 
Village Roadshow, which gave 
just $23,500 to the ALP and 
$202,000 to the Liberals in 
1996-97, last year gave the ALP 
$126,020 and dropped the Liberal 
funding to $107,140. 
Labor received $21,689,791 in 
donations last year - almost 
$4 million of it from affiliated 
unions. The Liberal Party re- 
ceived $18 001330 and the Na- 
tionals received $6,127,009. 
The big surprise was the more 
than $1 million in donations to the 
ultra-right wing Citizens Elec-
toral Council, which believes the 
Queen runs the international 
drug trade. The CEC received 
fewer than 10,000 votes. 
Giant petroleum firm Santos 
was the biggest corporate donor, 
giving $321,250 to the Coalition 
and $90,500 to the ALP. 
Banks were also big donors, with 
Westpac giving $242,050 to the 
Coalition and $151,500 to the ALP. 
Cigarette companies handed 
out thousands to parties, with 
Philip Morris donating $86,400 to 
the Coalition and $49,800 to the 
ALP. Rothmans gave $61,000 to 
the Coalition and $19,000 to the 

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