Larissa Waters Has Grilled Fossil Fuel Companies For Making Giant Political Donations

"They're donating in's no wonder that people think that politicians are for sale."

Political Donations

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Senator for Queensland Larissa Waters has called out the hefty political donations made to Australia’s major parties by fossil fuel giants.

The Australian Electoral Commission released their annual disclosure transparency data on Tuesday, covering 2020 through to 2021.

In the last financial year, major fossil fuel companies handed almost a million dollars to the three major parties. According to analysis by renewables movement 350, the Liberal party received most of the cut with over $500,000 in donations, nearly $400,000 to Labor, and just under $60,000 to the Nationals.

Empire Energy gave $40,000 to the Liberals and $25,000 to Labor in their respective Northern Territory branches, and went on to receive $21 million of tax payer dollars to frack the Beetaloo Basin.

Meanwhile, Santos donated $22,000 to the Nationals and $44,000 to Labor, while the Minerals Council of Australia handed out a combined $129,000 to the Coalition and $65,000 to the ALP. Spread across the three major parties, Woodside Energy gave $232,000, while mining services company Mineral Resources donated $222,400.

It follows a trend of the fossil fuel industry doubling its donations to the major parties between 2016-2020, according to The Guardian.

“They’re donating in spades,” said Waters in an interview with Radio National. “It’s no wonder that people think that politicians are for sale when you see the volume — the millions of dollars that goes into the pockets of both sides of politics — from the coal, gas, and oil companies.”

The Greens deputy leader went on to grill how these donations influence the Federal Government’s agenda and policies, including their gas-led recovery plans, and tens of millions of dollars worth of fracking grants in a mutually beneficial arrangement for donators and receivers.

“There’s a real perception, and frankly I think it’s a reality, that you get what you pay for. And that’s why big fossil fuel companies should not be allowed to buy the policy outcomes that suit their profits, particularly in a climate crisis,” said Waters. “With an election coming up, people deserve to know in real time who’s paying for what.”