The Tasmanian branch of the Liberal Party of Australia accepted an $11,000 donation from one of Australia’s largest tobacco companies, Philip Morris. Philip Morris is one the the tobacco companies which has opposed federal legislation requiring plain packaging of cigarettes.
The donation was disclosed by Philip Morris as being given to the Tasmanian Liberals on July 2, 2013. However, as the threshold for disclosure is set for the 2013/2014 financial year at $12,400, it was not required to be disclosed by the state branch of the Liberal Party on its return.
The Liberal Party have long preferred high thresholds for political donations disclosure. A $1500 threshold applied until December 8 2005 when the Howard government amended the legislation to increase the threshold to $10,000 and indexed. Each year the threshold increases marginally: for the 2012/2013 financial year the threshold was $12,100.
The Cancer Council of Australia estimates that 15,500 Australians die each year from smoking related health effects.