Politics

Liberal Party received $27,500 from Nine Entertainment Co in 2020


Nine Entertainment Co donated $27,500 to the federal Liberal Party in 2020, with the payment made as part of the company’s membership of a business forum affiliated with the party.

The donation was declared in the 2020-21 annual disclosures from the Australian Electoral Commission, published on Tuesday, and was Nine’s only political donation that financial year. The company has since implemented a policy against making political donations.

A Nine spokesman said the donation to a Liberal Party affiliated forum in 2020 was made under previous management and prior to the company implementing a ban on political donations.

A Nine spokesman said the donation to a Liberal Party affiliated forum in 2020 was made under previous management and prior to the company implementing a ban on political donations.Credit:Joe Armao

A Nine spokesman said the payment was made under the leadership of former chief executive Hugh Marks, who resigned in November 2020 and departed the company in March 2021.

“The payment to the Australian Business Network was made under previous management when Nine was also a member of the Federal Labor Business Forum. Nine has since implemented a blanket rule against donating to politically affiliated business networks,” the spokesman said.

Nine’s managing director of publishing James Chessell welcomed the company’s recommitment to no future involvement in political business networks.

“As I’ve said before the 2019 decision by previous management to engage in political fund-raising was wrong. I’m pleased Nine has reconfirmed it will no longer involve itself in these political business networks which create problems of perception for our mastheads,” Mr Chessell said.

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“Our newsrooms are covered by the charter of editorial independence which ensures our journalists are able to get on with the job of informing, engaging and holding the powerful to account regardless of corporate or political affiliations. Our track record of quality, unflinching journalism in recent years speaks for itself.”

Mr Marks hosted a $10,000 a head Liberal Party fundraiser at the broadcaster’s then headquarters in Willoughby in 2019, which was attended by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and members of his ministry, including Communications Minister Paul Fletcher.



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