Labor woos the business dollar

by Chris Griffith
Published 11 February 1996 in The Sunday Mail


my face


A public relations firm run by the wife of former State Liberal leader Sir Llew Edwards is shown in federal records as having given $3,370 to the ALP in Queensland.

It is recorded in party annual returns released by the Australian Electoral Commission.

But Ms Jane Brumfield, Sir Llew's wife, said yesterday the money was paid to the ALP on behalf of several clients who wished to take part in Labor's annual "meet the Cabinet" dinner cruise.

Labor in Queensland recorded receipts including donations of $4,024 million, the Queensland Liberals $989,000 and the Queensland Nationals $1.347 million.

In the newly released returns, the parties did not distinguish between donations and other income sources, and a requirement to enter the dates of donations has been dropped.

As expected, unions were among Labor's biggest income sources. The two major unions comprising the party's AWU faction were especially big contributors -- the AWU $218,540 and the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees' Association $108,142.

The party received $126,000 from the Australian Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union, and $47,481 from the Queensland Nurses Union.

Labor also received $3,068 from the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance. The then union president David Fagan, who signed the cheque, said the money came entirely from the union's Actors' Equity Section.

Labor too recorded significant receipts from business sources: $20,000 from Sea World Enterprises, $12,075 from property developers the MUR Group of Companies, $37,400 from Remix Pty Ltd, $2,100 from Cable Ski World at Runaway Bay, $1,500 from Pacific Waste Management, $5,000 from White Mining Ltd, and $3,370 from Brumfield Bird and Sandford Pty Ltd.

The Queensland Liberals received $10,000 from Allgas Energy in Woolloongabba , $3,000 from Castlemaine Perkins, and $2,220 from businessman and former Liberal leader Terry White.

The Queensland Nationals also received $10,000 from Allgas Energy in Woolloongabba, $10,000 from Bruce Small Enterprises, $10,000 from Coca Cola Amatil Ltd, and $20,000 from Townsville Trade Waste.

Some companies gave money to both sides of politics. Queensland Cement gave $10,000 to both the ALP and the Liberals, as did Thiess Contractors. The ALP recorded a receipt of $25,000 from Santos Ltd (Adelaide), the Liberals $10,000 from Santos, and the Nationals $5,000 from Santos.

The Westpac bank donated heavily to political parties around Australia. In a return from the bank's "Strategy and Communication" department, the bank said in Queensland it gave the ALP $20,295, the Liberals $5,000, and the Nationals $15,000.