Macquarie Telecom, Optus among Australia's biggest political donors

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Macquarie Telecom, Optus among Australia's biggest political donors

The Australian Electoral Commission has released the political donation records for 2017-18, showing companies like Macquarie Telecom felt more generous last year than they did previously.

MacTel had been one of the most generous technology firms in Australia in terms of political donations, but decided not to give anything in 2016-17.

That's changed this time around, with MacTel last year giving $105,250 to the Australian Labor Party, $75,380 to the Liberal Party and its various state branches, and $13,640 to the National Party.

MacTel is a major telco supplier to the government, but it also offers cloud, security and co-location services from its dedicated Macquarie Government business. According to its 2018 financial results, 42 percent of the Australian government are MacTel customers.

Optus, another major political donor, gave almost the same amount last year than it did in 2016-17. The telco gave the Liberals $28,300 and Labor slightly less with $28,000, along with a $3000 donation to the National Party.

As usual, Australia's consulting giants appeared among the biggest donors last year.

Deloitte ramped up its donations last year, giving $92,793 to the Liberal Party and its state branches, $87,165 to Labor and $3270 to the National Party, along with a $990 donation to the Liberal Democrats in Queensland. In the year prior, Deloitte only gave $53,000 to the Liberals and $50,000 to Labor.

EY and KPMG were also very generous with its donations. EY gave the Liberal Party $115,383 and Labor $107,182, while KPMG gave the Libs $139,195 and Labor $73,500.

There were also smaller donations from smaller software companies tangentially related to the channel, such as $13,500 in donations from construction software firm Companion Systems to the Liberal Party's NSW division, and $26,000 in donations from medical technology firm Medtronic to the Liberals, Labor and Nationals.

The full donation records can be accessed here.

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