Macquarie Telecom, Optus top tech political donor list

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Macquarie Telecom, Optus top tech political donor list

ICT industry's most generous firms revealed.

Macquarie Telecom made $86,200 in political donations in the past financial year, edging out SingTel Optus as the biggest donor from the tech sector.

The latest financial disclosure data from the Australian Electoral Commission revealed Macquarie Telecom donated $75,200 to the Australian Labor Party (ALP).

SingTel Optus donated $27,725 to the Federal Labor organisation by comparison, the figures showed. Optus donated slightly more to the Liberal Party of Australia - $28,250, according to the electoral commission.

Three other technology firms were listed as making state-based donations.

IT services firm Technology One donated $25,000 to the Liberal National Party of Queensland. Both Optus and Macquarie Telecom made donations to the Queensland branch.

Health IT firm iSOFT donated $11,000 and Keycorp donated $3,000 to the Liberals' NSW division.

When donations across the ALP, Liberal and National Party - both Federal and State branches - were combined, Macquarie Telecom topped the amount of donations from tech companies with $86,200.

SingTel Optus donated $73,014.30 in total over the period: $29,614.30 to Labor and $43,400 to the Liberals, Nationals or a combined state-based organisation.

According to the electoral commission, donors that received "some consideration for their ‘gift'" weren't required to lodge a financial disclosure return.

"Most usually, this involves the provision of a meal or a networking opportunity at a fundraiser," the commission said.

Other technology connections

Donors also included non-IT companies that have nonetheless been in the iTnews headlines over the last twelve months. makes no suggestion of any impropriety relating to these donors and the political parties involved.

Springfield Land Corporation, which played a significant role in the construction of the Polaris Data Centre near Brisbane, gave over $96,000 to the Queensland ALP and over $62,000 to the Queensland branch of the Liberal Party. It also donated $5,000 to the Federal ALP.

Leighton Holdings, which owns fibre optic company Nextgen Networks, donated $12,500 to the Federal ALP, $8,250 to the Liberal Party, $590 to the National Party, and $10,000 to the Tasmanian branch of the Liberal Party.

In December, Leighton-owned Nextgen Networks won the lion's share of a $250 million tender to provide fibre backhaul links in blackspots throughout regional Australia.

NBN Co CEO and chairman Mike Quigley is a former board member of Leighton.

Parker and Partners, an Ogilvy-owned lobby group which counts EDS and Alcatel-Lucent among its clients, gave $48,900 to the Federal ALP. Alcatel-Lucent will be providing much of the networking kit to the aforementioned Nextgen fibre rollout.

KPMG, which in partnership with McKinsey and Co won a $25 million tender to provide advisory services to NBN Co, donated $11,000 to the Federal ALP and $8250 to the Liberal Party.

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