Village Roadshow splurges on political donations during piracy debate

Village RoadshowVillage Roadshow has emerged as the largest single media donor in the last year, splurging $557,49 on the major parties in 2013-14.

The company has been lobbying the Federal Government heavily in recent years to crack down on internet piracy, which they claim is threatening their business model.

The company donated $329,919 to the Liberal party in multiple donations and made a single donation of $227,500 to the Australian Labor Party it was revealed today in political returns  published by the Australian Electoral Commission.

The company has consistently demanded the Government enact legislation forcing internet providers to take steps to curb illegal downloads.

In December the Government told internet service providers they had till April this year to devise a code of conduct for dealing with the issue, otherwise the Government will force one on them.

The head of the company, Graham Burke last year said in an interview with Fairfax media that unless the Government dealt with piracy the company risked losing financial support to create feature films.

Another significant spender on political donations in the same period was former media buyer and current chairman of Free TV Australia Harold Mitchell, who gave $100,000 in his own name to the Liberal Party.

James Packer, who retains a near 10 per cent stake in Channel Ten as well as other internet and media holdings made significant donations to both the ALP ($78,907) and the Liberal Party ($96,083) through his company Crown Resorts. He also made a smaller donation of $12,376 to The National Party.

Seven West Media made a string of small donations numbering in the thousands to the ALP totalling $12,800. The company made no donations to the Liberal party.

Robert Burton-Bradley



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