CANBERRA -- Malcolm Turnbull's extraordinary attack on Bill Shorten is still the hottest topic of conversation in the nation's capital, after he called the opposition leader a "parasite" and "sycophant" who "sucked up" to billionaires.
But while the Prime Minister's spirited and controversial speech accused Shorten of "sucking hard" to businesspeople like late cardboard magnate Dick Pratt, the records show that Pratt's family and companies have more links to the Liberal Party than Labor.
"He was a regular dinner guest at [Pratt's property] Raheen, always there with Dick Pratt, sucking up to Dick Pratt. Did he knock back the Cristal?" Turnbull roared, to laughs and approval from his benches in the House of Representatives.
"There was never a union leader in Melbourne, that tucked his knees under more billionaire's tables, than the Leader of the Opposition."
— Left of Labor (@Left_of_Labor) February 8, 2017
But donation disclosures published by the Australian Electoral Commission show that Pratt Holdings Pty Ltd have been very generous to the Liberal Party in recent times, and not nearly so forthcoming when it comes to Labor. In 2015-16, the company gave $20,000 to the ALP. By comparison, Pratt Holdings gave $830,000 to various branches of the Liberal Party -- divisions in Western Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and a total of $790,000 to the federal branch.
And here's Pratt's son, Anthony, with Turnbull, his wife Lucy, and American rapper Ludacris last year (full story here).
In 2014-15, Pratt Holdings gave $235,000 to the Liberal Party, and $0 to Labor; in 2012-13, another $260,000 to the Liberals, $0 to Labor; in 2010-11, Pratt Holdings gave $215,000 to Labor and $150,000 to the Liberals. Dick Pratt himself died in April 2009, so to be fair, let's look at the donations his company made while he was alive:
- 2000-01; $260,000 to Liberals, $0 to Labor
- 2004-05; $232,500 to the Coalition ($27,500 to the Nationals, $205,000 to the Liberals), $108,880 to Labor
- 2005-06; $200,000 to the Liberals, $0 to Labor
- 2006-07; $200,000 to the Liberals, $0 to Labor
- 2007-08; $200,000 to the Liberals, $100,000 to Labor
Since 2000-01, according to AEC disclosures, Pratt Holdings Pty Ltd has given $1,737,500 to the Liberals and Nationals, and $358,880 to Labor.
Aside from the donations, the Pratt family are no strangers to the government. Anthony Pratt, Dick's son, is quite active on Instagram, regularly sharing photos of meetings, receptions, parties and meals with politicians, business identities and stars including U.S. vice president Mike Pence, former presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush, Prince Charles Brad Pitt, Muhammad Ali, Jay Leno, Hugh Jackman and more. He has a few photos with Liberal heavyweights, but we couldn't spot a single one with anyone from Labor.
Here is Anthony with deputy PM Barnaby Joyce:
And with treasurer Scott Morrison:
Happy to have co-hosted a round table discussion last night with Dow Jones CEO and @WSJ Publisher, @WilliamLewis_DJ on the eve of the first US Global Food Forum. The discussion, moderated by Mr. Lewis, focused on ways to grow the American food industry. Glad to see some of our major customers and visiting Aussie Treasurer Scott Morrison. #wsjglobalfood #GlobalFoodForum #DowJones #WSJ #WallStreetJournal #roundtable #discussion #foodindustry #foodsecurity #foodexports #fooddisrtibution
And with Turnbull again:
Is that Cristal in Pratt's hand? Maybe we'll never know.
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