Pharmacy Guild donations skewed heavily toward ALP during the last financial year, electoral commission data reveals
The Guild threw its financial support largely behind the Australian Labor Party in the run-up to last year’s election, according to the latest Annual Donor Returns published by the Australian Electoral Commission.
At times in the lead-up to the 21 May federal election, there was open conflict between the Guild and the federal government, with the Health Minister and PM waiting until the last week before sending the customary letter of support to the Guild.
The AEC data, published this week, shows the Guild donated $773,791 across the political spectrum during the 2018/19 Financial Year.
Of this, $590,811 was donated to various branches of the ALP, with the remaining $182,980 being shared by the coalition parties (Liberal Party, National Party and Liberal National Party of Queensland).
The largest single donation given by the Guild during the year was $250,000 to the ALP’s Victorian branch on 29 April 2019. Another $110,000 was donated to the ALP on 17 May, and $50,000 to the ALP NSW branch on 14 May.
The largest single donation to the Coalition was $30,000 given to the Liberal Party of Australia’s Victorian division on 18 July 2018.
There was no record of any donation to One Nation, after the Guild was heavily criticised for giving the right wing party $15,000, apparently for events, in the 2017/18 Financial Year.
Among other donations of note were $83,270 gifted to political parties by Ramsay Health Care. Of this, $55,000 went to the ALP, which was heavily tipped to win the election.
Pharmaceutical industry peak body Medicines Australia donated $153,432 during the financial year, split fairly evenly between the major parties. There were also sizeable contributions from a number of major manufacturers such as Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Novartis and Bayer.
Complementary medicines manufacturer Blackmores donated $49,000, of which nearly $29,000 was to the ALP. However its chair Marcus Blackmore donated another $62,500, all to the Liberal Party.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia was listed as having made a $5,000 donation to the ALP during the 2018/19 Financial Year.