Political parties set for cash windfall

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ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr

ACT Labor stand to benefit close to $1 million towards its party coffers following its electoral win in October.

The party that won the right to govern for a sixth consecutive term is one of six political parties to have been paid public election funding for registering more than 4 per cent of first preference votes in one of the five electorates.

Parties and individuals are eligible to about $8.62 per vote that has risen by more than 62 cents per vote since the 2016 election.

Public funding payments from the ACT election could cost taxpayers almost $2.1 million.

“No party or candidate is obliged to accept public funding,” ACT electoral commissioner Damian Cantwell said.

Labor is set to collect nearly $878,000 following its 101,826 votes that garnered between 40.7 per cent and 34.2 per cent in each of the territory’s five electorates.

However, the Canberra Liberals have also reaped a financial windfall despite remaining in opposition for the past 19 years.

The Liberals will cash in nearly $785,000 from their 91,047 overall votes despite a 2.9 per cent swing against the party across the electorate.

The ACT Greens, who have formed government with Labor, gained their biggest funding payments from all of their eight electoral campaigns.

The party that also jumped from two to six seats in parliament has earned more than $313,000 following a record 36,307 votes.

The Greens join ACT Labor and the Canberra Liberals to reach the four per cent threshold in each of the five electorates.

Belco Party’s focus on the Ginninderra seat also paid benefits in its first ACT election, with its 5264 votes ensuring the political newcomers $45,381.21.

Canberra Progressives only polled 179 votes more across all five electorates and subsequently will take $23,423 less than the Belco Party.

They have the distinction of collecting half as much per overall vote than all other parties after reaching the threshold in only Kurrajong.

Fiona Carrick, who stood on a platform of a better deal for the southside of Canberra, was the only independent to garnish 4 per cent of the vote.

She can cash in $32,613 despite not claiming one of the five parliamentary seats for Murrumbidgee.

The Democratic Labour Party only took 1.4 per cent of the vote across the ACT, but has still earned $21,699 from a strong turnout in Yerrabi.

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