UnionsWA has commented on the release today by the WA Electoral Commission of financial returns for political parties and others in the lead up to the 2013 WA state election.
Meredith Hammat, Secretary UnionsWA said:
“These returns show that democracy in WA is alive, but unwell.
“At more than $6 million conservative political parties spent double that of the Labor Opposition and the Greens WA.
“That kind of money isn’t raised by a chook raffle, that’s big dollars from big business.
“Barnett is the Six Million Dollar Premier.
“The campaign gifts and expenditures by UnionsWA were significant at $650,000, but they were dwarfed by those huge expenditures, mostly funded by employers and industry.
“Other notable, but also minor expenditures were from the RAC WA $423,000 and the WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry, $194,000.
“It is important in a democracy that community groups as well as groups of employers and working people have the capacity to have their say directly in an election.
“It is not healthy for the discrepancy in party political expenditure to be so great.”
The WAEC figures show that government political parties declared gifts and funding of over $6 million ($5.1 mil by the Liberals and 0.9 mil by The Nationals WA), WA Labor declared $2.8 million and the Greens WA $0.5 mil. Among ‘Other’ returns UnionsWA declared $650,000, the RAC WA $423,000 and the WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry, $194,000. These figures include head office, lower and upper house political party campaigns. For full figures go to: