News National Turnbull won’t put a number on election gift as party donations revealed
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Turnbull won’t put a number on election gift as party donations revealed

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PM Turnbull did not appear in the AEC's latest donation returns. Photo: AAP Photo: AAP
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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull won’t say how much he donated to the Liberal Party’s re-election fight last year.

Despite reports Mr Turnbull donated as much as $1 million, his name does not appear in a list of election contributions released by the Australian Electoral Commission on Wednesday.

If Mr Turnbull donated to the party on July 1 or 2 – in the final days of the election campaign – the contribution won’t be revealed until next year’s returns.

Asked what he donated to the Liberal Party at the National Press Club on Wednesday, the PM said only that his donations were “regular”, “generous” and “disclosed in accordance with the law.”

The AEC figures revealed an uptick in donations to both major parties, with the largest donation coming in the form of a $1.3 million gift from mining magnate Paul Marks to the Liberal Party.

Election year windfall

The Liberal Party received nearly $15 million in total during 2015-16, up from around $10.3 million in the previous financial year.

Cabinet ministers Peter Dutton and Simon Birmingham also donated $50,000 and $20,000 respectively.

Labor raked in more than $10.3 million, an increase of around $3 million from 2014-15, with the largest donations coming from various unions.

Nearly $3 million flowed into the Greens coffers in the election year, bolstered by a $500,000 donation from Wotif.com founder Graeme Wood.

While the major parties do not receive donations from the tobacco industry, cigarette company Philip Morris donated $20,000 to the Liberal Democrats and $12,800 to the Nationals.

Donations reform

At his Press Club address on Wednesday, Mr Turnbull flagged the need for donations reform, including possible changes around foreign contributions.

He said Australians needed to be confident the electoral process was “free from foreign intervention or interference”.

A joint standing committee on electoral matters was examining the issue, the PM said.

The latest AEC figures showed contributions from a number of Chinese interests, including Hong Kong Kingston Investment Co. Ltd, which gave $710,000 or $150,000.

-with ABC, AAP

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