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Pauline Hanson’s $1.2 million payday

Pauline Hanson has garnered significant Senate support in NSW, especially in the closest coalition-held seats in outer-suburban, provincial and rural areas. Pauline Hanson puts media on notice on the Facebook page Pauline Hanson’s Please Explain. Photo: Facebook
Nanjing Night Net

Nick Xenophon may well help decide who forms the next government. Photo: Paul Jeffers

Tony Windsor is running for the seat of New England as an independent against Barnaby Joyce.

Independent MP Rob Oakeshott. Photo: Andrew Meares

Derryn Hinch. Photo: Fairfax

 

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party is on track to get almost $1.2 million in electoral funding from taxpayers.

The right-wing firebrand will get the cash no matter how many senators she ends up with and regardless of how much the party actually spent on campaigning.

The money will add to an estimated $6 million in public funding she and her party has received since first entering politics in 1996.

Under election rules, the Australian Electoral Commission pays parties and candidates $2.62 for every first-preference vote they get in each state or division in which they attract more than 4 per cent support.

Ms Hanson’s party got 9 per cent of the upper house vote in Queensland and just over 4 per cent in NSW.

As long as her NSW vote doesn’t dip below the threshold as counting continues she will get about $765,000 for her Senate vote.

Each of her 15 lower house candidates also got more than 4 per cent of the vote, giving her a further $400,000.

She is expected to benefit from the public funding more than any other party outside the Coalition, Labor and the Greens, whether she ends up with just two senators or as many as six.

The major parties are expected to get north of $20 million each from the AEC. The Greens are likely to get close to $6 million. The total cost to the taxpayer is expected to be around $60 million.

A number of unsuccessful independent candidates are also in line for a healthy payday.

Former crossbenchers Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott both attracted about 26,000 first-preference votes, meaning they will take home a little under $70,000 each. Mr Oakeshott only threw his hat into the ring a few weeks before polling day and has said he was running his campaign on the “smell of an oily rag”.

He has since said he spent about $50,000 on campaigning and he would keep the rest for his next campaign.

Television presenter James Mathison will get an estimated $23,000 for his roughly 9000 first preference votes in the Sydney seat of Warringah, which was retained by former prime minister Tony Abbott.

The only other minor party to come close to Ms Hanson’s total will be the Nick Xenophon Team. The populist’s 21 per cent upper house vote in his native state of South Australia will give him more than $400,000.

All 11 of his SA lower house candidates also cleared the threshold, as did four of his interstate candidates. That should net him another $500,000, taking his total to close to a million – up from $642,000 in 2013.

But Senator Xenophon says he won’t be able to follow through on his plan to pay back his main benefactor, Melbourne businessman Ian Melrose, who as revealed by Fairfax Media, donated $115,000 to the crossbencher.

Senator Xenophon says he did not do well enough in states outside SA. “It’s not going to work out. That’s the harsh reality,” he said.

Derryn Hinch’s strong showing in Victoria means he is in line for about $350,000 in election funding. Fellow Senate crossbencher Jacqui Lambie will get about $60,000 for her campaign.

The Sex Party will also get a piece of the pie. It managed to clear the threshold in both the ACT and NT, giving it about $30,000.

The vast majority of the election funding will be paid out by the end of the month.

The Greens want the law changed so the AEC only refunds actual campaign spending and candidates cannot make a profit.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

 

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