Advertisements spruiking the benefits of coal and mining were the biggest political expenditure by third-party groups in Australia last year, dwarfing public contributions from unions and GetUp, new data reveals.

The Australian Electoral Commission disclosures for the 2016-17 financial year were released on Thursday showing both major parties at the federal level declare more than $30m in donations and other receipts including public election funding.

The AEC disclosures confirm that Malcolm Turnbull was the biggest single donor to his own party, making a $1.75m contribution to the Liberal coffers just before the 2 July 2016 election.

Other large donations to the Liberal party included $500,000 from regular contributor Roslyn Packer, the widow of the late Kerry Packer; $200,000 from the Burnewang Pastoral Company; and $150,000 from each of ANZ, the National Automotive Leasing and Salary Packaging Association and supermarket giant Wesfarmers.

ANZ gave the same amount to federal Labor while the party declared other receipts totalling $128,100 from the National Automotive Leasing and Salary Packaging Association, $110,000 from Woodside Energy and $55,000 from Responsible Wagering Australia.

The biggest political expenditure was $3.6m by ACA Low Emissions Technologies Ltd, which manages a fund established by the coal industry to invest in clean coal. Its largest outlay was on political ads to pay for a campaign called Coal - It’s an Amazing Thing.

The Minerals Council spent a further $1.3m, including the Making the Future Possible campaign which spruiks coal and prompted a backlash from BHP.

Total money received by political parties

The Australian Education Union and the Australian Council of Trade Unions each spent about $890,000, GetUp spent $821,000, while the New South Wales Teachers Federation and Universities Australia spent about $500,000.

The Cormack Foundation, an associated entity of the Liberal party, received $3.4m in “other receipts” comprising dividends from its investments and donated a total of $800,000 to the Victorian Liberal party.

Labor – including through its state branches – received donations and other receipts from associated entities including $790,000 from the 1973 Foundation, $200,000 from Progressive Business, $869,000 from United Voice and $200,000 from the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association SA.

The Liberal party’s New South Wales branch received two donations totalling $78,000 from operators of the Star Casino in Sydney, the Star Entertainment Group, and $32,000 from the Registered Clubs Association of NSW.

NSW Labor received $30,000 from Hong Kong Kingston Investment, the company of China-linked donor Chau Chak Wing, $30,090 from the registered clubs and $23,500 from Crown Resorts.

In Victoria both major parties received donations worth more than $50,000 from PricewaterhouseCoopers and more than $40,000 from the Pharmacy Guild. The Victorian Liberals declared $363,000 from Vapold Pty Ltd.

Donations of more than $13,200 were required to be disclosed in the 2016-17 period.

The gap between major parties’ total receipts and declarations from known sources was $46.1m, suggesting a large portion of the $185m in receipts is below the threshold for donations or other money received.

Total donations, other receipts and total funding by party

The largest donations for the Queensland LNP were from the Marino Property Trust ($74,424) and the Consolidated Properties Group Pty Ltd ($43,580).

Jackie Trad, Labor’s deputy premier, was the party’s biggest donor in Queensland ($38,000), followed by KPMG Australia ($37,300) and Ernst and Young ($33,000).

In South Australia, the Liberal party received $316,000 from Aus Gold Mining Group Pty Ltd, owned by Chinese businesswoman Sally Zou, and $105,000 from both Ian and Pamela Wall. In Western Australia the party received donations over $100,000 from Fopar Nominees Pty Ltd and Jefferson Investments Pty Ltd.

The Liberal Democrats declared one donation of $20,000 from tobacco company Philip Morris. Dick Smith donated $2,000 to the Jacqui Lambie Network.

The Nationals received donations from Manildra Group ($37,200) Macquarie Group Ltd ($29,700), the Pharmacy Guild ($29,000) and Philip Morris ($15,700).

One Nation received donations totalling less than $3,000, but received $1.7m in funding from the Australian Electoral Commission. The major parties each received more than $20m in public election funding.

The Greens did not receive any large corporate donations but its various branches got $150,000 from high-end gambler Duncan Turpie, $95,000 from the estate of Ian Rudd and more than $100,000 from the estate of Cecily Dignan.


Paul Karp and Nick Evershed

The GuardianTramp

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