The Pharmacy Guild has come under scrutiny over $15,000 in donations to One Nation
But the two payments were for attendance at Party events, the Guild has confirmed.
The Australian’s Jared Owens reported that the Guild – as well as Adani – have “emerged as major contributors” to One Nation, with each giving $15,000 to the Party in 2018.
Crikey took the opportunity to publish a “Crikey Clarifier” piece examining the Guild and its history of donating to political parties across the spectrum, as well as weighing into the recent controversy over the failed Government proposal to increase dispense limits to two months.
“In recent years, the body has given millions to Labor, the Liberals and the Nationals,” writes Kishor Napier-Raman.
“Donations are just one element of the Guild’s political operation. With members (i.e. pharmacies) in every electorate in the country, and huge control over the provision of medication, the guild has been able to quietly gain a hold over Australian politics, making it one of Australia’s most feared lobby groups.”
The Guild’s Queensland branch made two donations of $7,500 each to One Nation’s Queensland division in June and July 2018.
A spokesperson for the Guild told the AJP that the Electoral Commission does not distinguish between events and “straight-out donations”.
“I am advised that these two payments related to events,” the spokesperson said.
“The Pharmacy Guild attends paid political events and functions across the political spectrum, with all such payments to attend events reported and declared to electoral regulators.
“Attendance at political events by Guild officials does not denote endorsement of any policies of the host party.”
News of the donations caused concern among some commentators.
When you think you've seen it all – the Pharmacy Guild donates $15k to One Hanson. And there's a drink for Mad Hatter Katter as well.https://t.co/hRWLr7uUfN
— Michael Pascoe (@MichaelPascoe01) April 4, 2019
Whoever it was at the Pharmacy Guild who decided to donate $15,000 to One Nation should either be sacked or fined $15,000. What do the members think of this? pic.twitter.com/TVifjCWGWF
— Stephen Mayne (@MayneReport) April 3, 2019
As well as One Nation, the Queensland branch of the Guild donated to a number of Queensland party branches, including $1,450 to Katter’s Australian Party in March 2019, and more than $13,000 to the state Labor branch during 2018.