Cleveland company in top 20 political donors

A JJ Richards truck collects recycling materials in Redland city.

A JJ Richards truck collects recycling materials in Redland city.

CLEVELAND-based rubbish removal company JJ Richards and Sons made two of the country's largest political donations in the past financial year.

An Australian Electoral Commission report listed 570 companies which made donations greater than $12,800 and JJ Richards clocked in giving the 18th and 20th largest windfalls totalling $214,750.

It gave $112,500 to the Liberal Party of Australia and a further $102,250 to the Liberal National Party of Queensland.

The company has an eight-year Waste and Recycling Collection Services Contract with Redland City Council which expires on June 29.  Last financial year, council paid it $8.85million for that service.

It also has a two-year Waste, Recycling and Greenwaste Collection Services contract which expires in 2018, but there are options to extend every two years until June 30, 2020.

The biggest listed political donation, $5.99million, was from Clive Palmer's Queensland Nickel company to his Palmer United Party, which received three of the largest donations.

Mr Palmer's Minerology company made the second largest donation of $3.628million, also to the Palmer United Party and his Coolum Resort also donated $191,113.

Other top 20 donations came from the Australian Hotels and Hospitality Association (Victoria branch), which has been pushing for extended closing hours in pubs and clubs.

It donated $171,000 to the Australian Labor Party Victoria branch and, to hedge its bets, a further $157,100 to the Liberal Party of Australia (Victorian branch) and $86,000 to the National Party of Australia (Victoria branch).

JJ Richards, which has its head office in Grant Street, Cleveland, has not made monetary contributions or donations to council in the past term but has a long history of providing free or discounted bins and supporting council-sponsored and community events such as Christmas by Starlight.

A company spokeswoman in Cleveland refused to comment but said the company had provided all the necessary details to the AEC.

Parties and donors are required to provide details on all donations above $12,800.

The list does not include funds received via political parties' "associated entities", which direct funds to the major parties.

This list was compiled from declarations by the donors .

The commission also has data about what the parties and their associated entities declared.

The Waste, Recycling and Greenwaste Collection Contract also includes a financial contribution to waste education which currently funds a full-time employee and associated education expenses.

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