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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tobacco companies are biggest political spenders

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has released financial disclosure returns that show the donations of more than $11,500 made to political parties and the political expenditure of donors.

Cigarette smoke
Cigarette and smoke
Large tobacco companies spent about $14 million as they fought against the Federal Government's plain packaging laws.

British American Tobacco, Phillip Morris and Imperial Tobacco gave a total of $9 million to the Alliance of Australian Retailers, which led the campaign against the laws.

Imperial Tobacco also separately spent more than $4 million fighting the move with printed material and broadcast advertising and Philip Morris added to that with nearly $500,000.

The Coalition also received donations worth $184,000 from British American Tobacco and $79,000 from Philip Morris.

Mining companies and associated lobby groups were also big donors and big campaigners as they fought the Government's tax on mining profits and the carbon pricing scheme.

The Minerals Council of Australia spent nearly $4 million fighting the tax, with most of that spent on broadcast advertising.

The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies spent another $2.2 million.

Clive Palmer's Mineralogy gave the Coalition parties, at federal and state levels, nearly $500,000.

His Queensland Nickel gave another $500,000 to Queensland's LNP.

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