Revealed: tech firm donations to Australian political parties

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Revealed: tech firm donations to Australian political parties

Technology companies were among the major givers named in the Australian Electoral Commission's periodic disclosure list of political party donations for 2014-15.

The AEC's report listed Google as donating $60,000 to the Labor Party in its first and only political donation. Google has since denied this, stating the donation was actually made to the Chifley Research Centre, a think tank associated with the Labor Party.

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu donated $159,610 to a number of state and federal parties. The biggest beneficiaries were Labor for $117,219 and the Liberals $36,807. Smaller donations were also made to the Country Labor Party and the Nationals.

Deloitte has been a heavy hitter in the Australian IT channel, with acquisitions of Cloud Solutions Group in November, Oracle reseller Qubit Consulting in September, as well as Dataweave in June.

Another of the “Big Four” consulting firms, KPMG, handed over $211,597 in donations - the Labor Party recieved $174,892, the Liberals $26,705 and the Liberal National Party $10,000.

KPMG has also been actively acquiring channel firms in recent times, including Hands-On Systems, First Point Global, SR7, Pacific Strategy Partners, Momentum Partners and SGA Property Consultancy.

Optus made a number of donations to both the Liberals and Labor parties totalling $22,680. Foxtel, a joint venture between Telstra and News Corp, gave $18,500 to the Labor Party.

Publicly listed software company TechnologyOne opted not to donate to any political party this year. Last year, the Queensland-based company had donated $31,225 to the Liberals and $1,000 to Labor.

The biggest overall donation came from Clive Palmer’s Queensland Nickel and Mineralogy businesses for just under $10 million to the Palmer United Party. Queensland Nickel was placed in administration last month.

Update: This story has been updated to reflect Google's claim that it's donation was incorrectly listed as being to the Labor Party.

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