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The price of power: Labor spent $10 million to secure a third term


With a 26-day campaign, across 93 seats, Labor was willing to spend up to win four more years in power at last year’s state election.

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As reported by InQueensland, the Queensland branch of the Australian Labor Party recently submitted its expenditure return for the October 31 election. It revealed the party HQ spent $7,817,350.78 on the campaign, keeping it under the caps introduced by the Palaszczuk government.

However, scores of returns for individual Labor candidates have since trickled in, revealing around $1 million in additional spending via local campaigns. Add to that the “third party” campaigns, for example those run by sympathetic unions, and Labor’s re-election is likely to have cost $10 million.

However, not all Labor’s investment – paid for through donations, membership fees and other income – provided a return: the most expensive local campaign was for fallen Labor heavyweight Jackie Trad, who lost her seat of South Brisbane to the Greens.

That $55,912.54 outlay on a single seat was much more than the Liberal National Party has declared on any of its local campaigns. To date, its biggest expense was $32,690.96 to see Colin Boyce hold his seat of Callide.

The LNP has yet to disclose how much its party HQ spent on the campaign, but had complained of being short-changed by a ban on developer donations. The federal National Party transferred $52,000 to the LNP three weeks after the election.

From next year, the Palaszczuk government plans to impose a cap on donations and more taxpayer funding for campaigns to improve the integrity of the process.

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