Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull donated a million dollars from his own pocket towards the government’s re-election campaign, a media report said Friday.
The Australian newspaper, which is close to the right wing of the Turnbull government, reported Turnbull “secretly” donated a million Australian dollars (762,000 US dollars) to the Liberal Party in the final weeks of the election campaign to help pay for television advertising.
Donations from the party’s usual big business supporters slowed after it was revealed the party had been avoiding donor disclosure laws by funnelling them through a political foundation.
Turnbull, 61, amassed his personal fortune estimated at 186 million Australian dollars (142 million US dollars) as an investment banker before he entered politics in 2004.
He lives in his own Sydney harbourside mansion rather than the official prime minister’s residence on the other side of the harbour.
The political donation is not tax deductible. Party donations do not have to be publicly disclosed until February.
It would be the first time in Australia a political leader has made a donation of this size.
The Australian said Turnbull did not deny the donation when asked for a comment.
Labor Party frontbencher Anthony Albanese said the multimillionaire prime minister was out of touch with regular people and quipped: “I wish we had someone who had a lazy million dollars sitting in the corner they could just plonk into a campaign.”
Turnbull's government was re-elected by a narrow margin after losing 14 of its 90 seats in the July 2 election.