POLITICS

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull Confirms He Donated $1.75 Million To The Liberal Party

After dodging reporters' questions about it earlier in the day.

01/02/2017 7:38 PM AEDT | Updated 01/02/2017 9:50 PM AEDT
Stefan Postles via Getty Images
Turnbull revealed to the ABC he has donated $1.75 million to ensuring Australia did not have a Labor government.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has revealed he donated $1.75 million to the Liberal Party to help it win the election, claiming the "philanthropic" donation ensured "we didn't have a Labor Government".

Turnbull ended months of speculation about his donation, after political donations data was released by the the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) covering the 2015-16 financial year on Wednesday but did not reveal the amount from the Prime Minister.

While there was nothing illegal about the donation, the Labor Government has come down hard on Turnbull over the revelation, accusing him of having "bought himself an election".

"No wonder Malcolm Turnbull was so desperate to keep this a secret," the Shadow Minister for Finance, Jim Chalmers, said in a statement Wednesday night.

"He couldn't rely on the power of his arguments or his policies to win the election – he had to buy it.

"If Malcolm Turnbull didn't have $1.75 million in his back pocket he wouldn't be the leader of the Liberal Party -- and he wouldn't be Prime Minister."

Speaking to the ABC's 7:30, Turnbull said that the donation showed his commitment to the Liberal Party, noting that he and his wife, Lucy, have always been philanthropic.

"I contributed $1.75 million -- that was the contribution I made. It has been talked about and speculated about but there it is," he told Stan Grant.

"That's a substantial contribution, I can assure you we make big contributions to many important enterprises and causes."

Earlier in the day, Turnbull dodged reporters' questions about his personal political donations, avoiding clarifying the amount but confirming he made regular and generous donations.

There was speculation the Prime Minister held back his donation until after June 30, missing the cut-off date for the AEC reporting period. The next reporting period won't be until February 2017 and under the current rules, all political donations over $13,000 must be disclosed.

Turnbull also took a jibe at Labor leader Bill Shorten over claims the Prime Minister is 'Mr Harbourside Mansion'.

"Now here's the difference. I put my money into ensuring that we didn't have a Labor government. I put my money into the Liberal Party's campaign. I am not beholden to the CFMEU like Bill Shorten is. I'm not beholden to left-wing unions who own Bill Shorten," Turnbull said.

"I do live with Lucy in a nice house on the water in Sydney. Yes, we do. And we paid for it. We pay the expenses on it. That's our house.

"Bill Shorten wants to live in a harbourside mansion for which every expense is paid for by the taxpayer. That's the big difference."

The Prime Minister had been accused of hypocrisy for advocating for reforms of the political travel entitlements scheme, whilst withholding the size of his own political donation.

In his speech to the National Press Club on Wednesday, Turnbull said the reforms will create more transparency, and will be released publicly every month.

The reforms come after a number of Coalition MPs have been caught in controversy which this year resulted in former Health Minister Sussan Ley's resignation.

More On This Topic