MacTel, Optus retain spot as biggest tech political donors

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MacTel, Optus retain spot as biggest tech political donors

But smaller offerings than previous years.

Macquarie Telecom and SingTel Optus were the largest donors to political parties within the technology sector for 2015-16, handing over a combined $174,500 to the major parties.

But the $110,000 donated by Macquarie Telecom - the vast majority of which went to the Labor party, in line with past donations - fell well short of injections the managed hosting and telecommunications company has made in years past.

Its biggest donation was in 2009-10, with a $263,000 boost to the political parties (mostly Labor). From 2011-15 it donated anywhere from $82,500 to $142,000.

Macquarie Telecom and Optus are the most consistent and largest donors to political parties from the sector, with Optus traditionally coming in second place.

However, the telco topped the list in 2010-11 - a year when MacTel was absent - with a $86,252 injection.

This year, Optus donated $64,500, split fairly evenly between the two major political parties.

Vocus also reemerged after a year off  - it last provided $44,000 to the Liberal party in 2013-14 - to make a $50,000 donation to the Liberals in June last year.

Village Roadshow has long donated significant sums to both the major political parties, but after cutting down its donations by half last year came back with a bang in 2015-16.

It gave the Labor party $279,200 - compared to just $12,800 last year - and $357,000 to the Liberals, up from $176,000 in 2014-15.

Donors that popped up last year but were absent from the 2015-16 list include Google, which offered up $60,000 to the Labor party associated Chiefly Research Centre in its first-ever donation last year, Foxtel, and Technology One, which has taken a second year off providing donations to political parties.

iTnews makes no suggestion of any impropriety relating to these donors and the political parties involved.

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