Federal Greens keep $76k in fossil fuel-linked donations

Federal Greens keep $76k from the same donors who have investments in oil companies that supply to BP, Woodside and Shell.

Federal Greens keep $76k in fossil fuel-linked donations
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The NSW Greens have returned a $7000 donation from donors who invest in fossil fuels, but their federal counterparts will not be returning $76,000 from the same benefactors.

Greens in NSW last week decided to hand back what was reportedly the largest single donation to their state election campaign because it violated their ban on money connected to the fossil fuel industry.

The donations were made by Fred Woollard and Therese Cochrane directly as well as through their company, Keep Them Honest, which they established to make political donations.

Woollard is the founder and managing director of the Samuel Terry fund which has investments in oil companies that supply to BP, Woodside and Shell. Cochrane is the fund’s general manager.

According to The Age newspaper, Woollard, Cochrane and Keep Them Honest, have given $76,501 to the federal Greens over the past 20 years.

The federal Greens’ policy is to “ban donations from coal and gas corporations and other sectors with a track record of buying influence”.

But a federal Greens spokesman told The Age that donations from Woollard, Cochrane and Keep Them Honest were not inconsistent with their donations laws.

“As the donors are significant investors in renewable energy, the Australian Greens believe that they wished to donate to the party with the best record on climate action because of our consistent advocacy for a rapid, managed move towards renewables and away from coal, oil and gas,” the spokesman said.

When contacted, Woollard told The Age that it was a matter for the Australian Greens whether the party would return the money he had given them.

“I run a funds management company, not a fossil fuel company,” he said.

“Our fund has invested across many industries including renewable energy. We make political donations in the hope of improving NSW and Australia. Political donations are made by us personally and have nothing to do with the fund.”

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  • By Avi Yemini

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