Local News

Malcolm Turnbull admits donating almost $2 million to election campaign

"I've always been prepared to put my money where my mouth is.”
Malcolm Turnbull

Appearing on the ABC’s 730 program on Wednesday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirmed that he and his wife Lucy donated $1.75 million to the Liberal Party for the 2016 election campaign.

“I contributed $1.75 million, that was the contribution I made. It has been talked about and speculated about but there it is,” Turnbull said.

“I’ve always been prepared to put my money where my mouth is. Now, here’s the difference: I put my money into ensuring that we didn’t have a Labor government.”

He added: “I put my money into the Liberal Party’s campaign.”

The news comes after six months of pressure to confirm the exact amount donated towards the Liberal Party’s campaign coffers.

Explaining why the donation did not appear in Wednesday’s Australian Electoral Commission political donation disclosures, Turnbull indicated that the contribution had been made this financial year on July 1, 2016. The result of which delayed any requirement to disclose the contribution until February 2018.

Addressing why he had not released the details of his donation sooner, Turnball said: “I think Australians are more interested in what I am doing with their money than what I am doing with my own.”

The Prime Minister went on to insist that the donation was nothing out of the ordinary for himself and his wife Lucy, who have a long history of philanthropy.

The Prime Minister explained that he and his wife Lucy have done well in life and like to give back accordingly.

The opposition has been quick to slam the Prime Minister’s disclosure, with Labor MP and Opposition spokesman for finance Jim Chalmers accusing Turnbull of securing his election win with his own dollars.

“No wonder Malcolm Turnbull was so desperate to keep his secret — he basically bought himself an election,” Chalmers said.

“I think the Australian people will be shocked by this admission — it stinks. Malcolm Turnbull had to buy his way out of trouble in the dying days of his disastrous election campaign.

He added: “If Malcolm Turnbull didn’t have $1.75 million in his back pocket he wouldn’t be the leader of the Liberal Party — and he wouldn’t be Prime Minister.”

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