Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday revealed that he personally donated $1.75 million to the Liberal Party during the last electoral campaign.
The 2015–16 party donation figures from the Australian Electoral Commission were released yesterday, but Mr Turnbull’s donation did not appear as it was made after 30 June 2016.
Revealing the information on the ABC’s 7.30 program, Mr Turnbull believed it was his duty to give back and that it was an investment in his party to ensure that we didn’t have a Labor government.
“I am not beholden to the CFMEU like Bill Shorten is. I am not beholden to left-wing unions, who own Bill Shorten.” said Mr Turnbull.
With the donation amount becoming public overnight, it didn’t take long for the Federal Opposition to have its say on the matter. Shadow Finance Minister Jim Chalmers accused Mr Turnbull of buying the leadership of the Liberal Party and buying the election.
“If he didn’t have $1.75 million to splash about he wouldn’t be the leader of the Liberal Party and he wouldn’t be the Prime Minister,” said Mr Chalmers.
South Australian senator Nick Xenophon has called for a review of the political donation system, while Former Liberal Federal Treasurer Michael Yabsley has called for a cap on political donations at $500.
“The real issue has to be the lack of transparency, the opaqueness of our current donation disclosure laws where we don’t really know who’s pulling the strings when it comes to making those big donations,” said Mr Xenophon.
Neither of the two major parties are calling for a cap on political donations, but Mr Turnbull has said that he is open to ideas.
What do you think? Did Mr Turnbull buy the election? Is the $1.75 million donation simply a sign of a man invested in the job or something more? Should there be a limit on political donations?