Dodgy Union Donations

A massive scandal has broken out in Australia over union donations:

The Health Services Union shelled out more than $600,000 in political donations to the ALP during 2010/11 despite amassing debts of almost $19 million.

The lion’s share of the cash-strapped union’s donations went to the NSW branch of the Labor Party to the tune of $300, 000.

The federal branch received just over $160, 000 in donations from the former union of the MP Craig Thomson.

The details of financial disclosure returns from political parties, associated entities, donors and third parties who incur political expenditures was released publicly today, revealing the extent of the HSU’s financial position.

As of June 2011, HSU East had amassed debts of $18.8 million.

The details were revealed as the national secretary of the HSU, Kathy Jackson, called for an immediate inquiry into Fair Work Australia over its investigation into the alleged misconduct of union officials, including Mr Thomson.

She said  the investigation – first flagged in 2009 – was taking far too long and raised the explosive possibility of government interference into the process.

I wonder of any unions here have been making donations despite mounting losses?


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  • Scott

    Unite Union? Mind you they still owe us PAYE money and are paying late fees to the IRD. Scum!

  • Peters

    Whale oil…under your Ports of Auckland tag some person the OWL has done amazing work on the NZ unions…can you add that link for the readers to follow on the main blog. I really hope the readers follow this story…it is really unbelievable and I think some Govt officials ( and Unions ) sit up and take notice.

    • Yes and it will now start flowing as posts

  • Findout

    Just read the Owls work on the the unions – see the posts under the blue eernst young blog at the top of the home page. Is this real? Looks like some unions are making losses and still donating? Under company law a supplier who got preferential payments can be asked to repay the money if the company goes into receivership etc. Does this apply in this case? I am also interested to know if full disclosure is being meet?
    Finally how many union executives sort seats under the last election. I know Andrew Little did…is there a conflict of interest?
    All interesting questions

  • Can you folk check your typing before you
    click? I thought poor spelling was equated with bad education and lack of
    intelligence – now it seems it’s just folk are being lazy….well I hope that
    is the case.

    • Vij

      Your grammar is terrible, but I think it’s you being a little lazy too.

    • Peter Wilson

      How could poor spelling be caused by lack of intelligence? It’s just rote learning which anyone can do, it just depends whether they can be bothered or not. Lazy yes. Low intelligence, no. It’s like people who have a degree assuming they are more intelligent.

  • Anonymous

    “I wonder of any unions here have been making donations despite mounting losses?”


  • Blokeintakapuna

    Does anyone know if Labour have paid back to the tax payers the almost $1Million dollars they stole attemptin to rig the 2008 election when they over-spent the capped allowance? Labour then had to retrospectively change the law so as to avoid the need to prosecute itself. Just wondering if they ever paid it back?

  • Timandtim

    Well done Owl. Should win investigative journalism of the year. You broke the NZ story before Australia did. Where’s the newspapers on this

  • Wellington7ssadman

    Didn’t Helen Kelly try as well as a list MP? This info is awesome. I am going to cut and paste and send to Dominion Post. Great stuff OWL

    • In Vino Veritas

      The Dom Post? In the Socialist Republic of Wellington? You’ll be lucky to get it published in any form there….

  • Greatcoat

    I don’t know about you readers of the but the information on here is really quite serious. I am very concerned. Well done OwL New zealander of the year!

  • Welcomeback

    I agree with OWl that the unions need to be investigated. How can someone like unite Matt get air time when he is letting down his own members and not disclosing information. How can the EMPU be allowed to fund Andre Littles election campaign.national won’t want to raise an issue but hey…isn’t that why have independent ministries whose role is to actually do this regardless of a left or right wing government. They should asked the question…what are they doing about.

    This the story of the year…have really enjoyed the posts

  • Timandtim

    Go read the latest post on the Ernst young wharfs blog (in blue above). We love the Owl.