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It Appears Malcolm Turnbull Donated $1 Million Of His Own Money To The Liberal Election Campaign

Million dollar Mal.

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Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull donated $1 million of his own money to the Liberals' election campaign because the party didn't have enough money to match Labor's advertising campaign, according to The Australian.

Malcolm Turnbull / Via Instagram: @turnbullmalcolm

Cash dried up after Turnbull took over the Liberal leadership in September 2014, according to the report.

His donation was made in the final weeks of the campaign and kept secret from all but a handful of people in the party.

It was used to pay for general advertising, direct mail outs in marginal seats and polling.

Assistant treasurer Kelly O'Dwyer says the party needed the funds to compete with the spending of the unions, and left-leaning organisations like GetUp!.

“With the union movement, when you look at the donations to the Labor party that were made by them, they compel their membership to support the Labor campaign," she told Channel Nine on Friday.

It's estimated that throughout the campaign Labor spent $4.7 to the Coalition's $6 million on TV advertising alone.

Over the record eight-week campaign, the Liberal party had to cut its TV advertising for two or three days so it could save money for the final week, according to The Australian.

The Liberal party's federal director Tony Nutt has denied the party is broke or in debt, but refused to comment on the Turnbull donation.

Liberal Party

In a statement on Friday morning he said the claim that the Liberal party is in debt or broke is "false".

"The party's finances are soundly managed" he added.

He didn't comment on whether Turnbull made the donation, but did say that donations to the party are disclosed in accordance with the Electoral Act, meaning any donations made during the election campaign need to be declared by November and will be made public in February.

The prime minister's office released a similar statement saying "Donations to the Liberal Party are disclosed in accordance with the requirements of the Electoral Act".

During the election campaign the PM was spotted at exclusive functions where supporters paid up to $10,000 a head to dine with him, with proceeds going to the campaign.

The Liberal party's war chest took a hit earlier this year when the NSW Electoral Commission announced it was withholding $4.4 million in public funding until the NSW Liberals formally disclosed who donated $693,000 via the Free Enterprise Foundation.

Malcolm Turnbull's wealth is estimated at just below $200 million. He was nicknamed "Mr Habourside Mansion" during the campaign because of his $50 million Point Piper home in Sydney.

NT News / Via

Turnbull has donated money to the Liberal party in the past. When he was federal party treasurer in 2002 he donated $150,000 to the Menzies Research Centre and in 2004/05 he donated almost $140,000 to the NSW Liberal Party.

Alice Workman is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Canberra.

Contact Alice Workman at

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