Macquarie Telecom has tripled the amount of money it paid to political parties in the 2009/10 financial year, shelling out over $263,000 - mostly to the Labor Party.
The telco and data centre operator gave $198,800 to Federal Labor and another $7,000 to state Labor in NSW and Tasmania in 2009-10 [pdf].
By contrast, it gave $19,668 to the Federal Liberal Party, $13,750 to the Liberal-National Party in Queensland and several thousands more to various state iterations of the Liberals or Nationals. It also gave $5,000 to the Greens in Tasmania.
ALP representatives have attended or provided supporting statements to several of the company's initiatives in the months since.
In July 2010, NSW ALP treasurer Eric Roozendaal opened the company's new call centre in Sydney, and in December 2010 it sponsored an Access Economics study that promoted the business benefits of the Federal ALP Government's National Broadband Network plan.
iTnews.com.au makes no suggestion of any impropriety relating to any donors and the political parties involved.
Macquarie Telecom also topped donations among IT companies in the prior financial year (2008-09), when it gave away $86,200, again the lion's share to the ALP.
However, unlike 2008-9, technology companies for the most part did not feature among political donors exposed by the Australian Electoral Commission today in its annual publishing of donor reports.
Other companies that had IT interests were again present in the donor lists.
One of the contracted builders of stage one backhaul for NBN Tasmania – John Holland – gave $5,000 to state Labor in Tasmania, as well as $7,000 and $1,000 to the Queensland and NSW Labor branches respectively.
John Holland's parent, Leighton Holdings – which owns another company associated with backhaul rollouts for the Government, Nextgen Networks – gave a shade under $100,000 in total to various state and federal Labor entities and about $83,000 to various Liberal Party entities.
Springfield Land Corporation - which had a large hand in building the Polaris data centre - gave $65,210 to Queensland Labor and just over $10,000 to Queensland's Liberal Party.
Professional services consultancies like Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu were also donors in the past financial year.