Mineralogy’s gifts was company’s largest expense
CLIVE Palmer-owned Mineralogy's $83.5 million cash splash on donations and ads - nearly all of it on the United Australia Party - was the company's largest expense last financial year.
The Townsville Bulletin can reveal Mineralogy Pty Ltd spent more money on advertising and gifts for the UAP than it did on administrative costs or employee benefits, according to the company's latest financial records.
It comes as new data released by the Australian Electoral Commission revealed the UAP's campaign war chest was much larger than the $60 million previously estimated.
Mr Palmer's wife Anna Alexandrova Palmer also opened her purse strings, but for a different political party.
Four of Mr Palmer's companies donated $83,479,892 to the UAP in 2018/19, a bulk of it, $83.3 million, coming from Mineralogy, and the rest from Queensland Nickel Sales ($25,621), Waratah Coal ($106,342) and Palmer Coolum Resort Pty Ltd ($53,566).
Mineralogy's gift to the UAP was the largest total donation made by a company according to AEC's electronic records, which go back to financial year 1998/99.
The company's latest financial records show that it spent $83.5 million on donations and gifts, and $82.9 million on administrative costs and $7.4 million on employee benefits.
The UAP fielded 173 candidates in the lower house and the Senate in last year's federal election, but did not pick up any seats despite an ad spend so significant the Labor Party believes it was a factor in its election loss.
Mr Palmer yesterday reiterated, via a spokesman, that he was "very happy" with the outcome of the federal election result, as he had helped Prime Minister Scott Morrison's coalition government regain office and prevented Labor from "ruining this country".
Two political hopefuls who stood for the UAP last May, Greg Dowling (Herbert) and Martin Brewster (Senate), are now vying for a spot in Townsville City Council, running as independents in the upcoming March 28 poll.
Meanwhile, AEC records show Mrs Palmer donated a total of $330,000 to the National Party of Australia in 2018/19 and gifted $20,000 to Cherish Life, a Brisbane-based anti-abortion lobby group.
A spokesman said Mrs Palmer was allowed to vote and spend her money "anyway she wishes".
As of June 30, the UAP had debts of $8.8 million, the majority of which was owed to Google Australia.