Free Enterprise Foundation (Australia)
The Free Enterprise Foundation (FEF) is a front group used by the Liberal Party of Australia to funnel funding without the knowledge of the Australian Electoral Commission or the Australian public. It operates mainly in New South Wales, and has a Victorian counter-part known as Vapold Pty Ltd.
In March 2016 the NSW Electoral Commission refused to provide $4.4 million dollars due in public campaign funding because ICAC had exposed millions of dollars in hidden donations channelled to the party through the Free Enterprise Foundation. They found that senior party officials had a way of disguising slush-fund donations from prohibited sources through the Foundation.
The evidence for these prohibited donations came from the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) which had exposed the dealings through Operation Spicer.
In 2004/5, the Foundation was one of the biggest donors to the Liberal Party, donating $891,843.00 to the party, according records held by the Australian Electoral Commission .
2004/5 Donations to the Foundation
- Gunns Ltd was one of the major donors to the FEF, donating $20,000.
- A list of other 2004/5 donors to the FEF can be found here (pdf).
Other Sourcewatch Resources
- Sandi Keane & Barry Everingham, The Liberal Party receives millions from fossil fuel lobby, Independent Australia, 11 April 2011.
- Sandi Keane, The fossil fuel industry and who really runs Australia, Independent Australia, 6 May 2014
- ABC News, , 24 Mar 2016,