Appreciate our quality journalism? Please subscribe here




A notorious climate denier with deep ties to US-style dark money outfit the “Institute of Public Affairs” was the biggest funder of the “No” campaign against the Indigenous Voice in the six months before the referendum. 

The next biggest funders — who tied with multi-millionaire Simon Fenwick and tipped in $500,000 — were mega-rich Melbourne pair Anne Neate and Richard Harbig, who inherited a family property empire. 

Figures released yesterday by the Australian Electoral Commission show “The B Macfie Family Foundation” made eight donations of $100,000 each to “Australians for Unity”, the charity arm of “No” campaign group Advance. 

Bryant Macfie himself made a further $100,000 donation, taking the total to $900,000. 

Macfie, a Perth-based medical doctor and “honorary life member” of the “IPA”, made headlines in 2008 when he channelled $350,000 via the IPA to the University of Queensland for “climate research”. 

In launching the funding Macfie likened “climate activism” to a new religion, declaring “the crucifix has been replaced by the wind turbine”. 

“The crucifix has been replaced by the wind turbine” — Bryant Macfie 

Macfie is one of just three “honorary life members” of the IPA, along with mining billionaire Gina Rinehart. 

As previously revealed by The Klaxon, the “No” campaign was deeply tied to the fossil fuels and mining sector. 

Advance, the main No campaign group, operates a climate denial and anti-renewables arm called “Not Zero”. 

The Voice would have given Indigenous Australians a centralised and more prominent say in public affairs, although government would not have been required to follow any of its recommendations.

Internationally, one of the biggest impediments to fossil fuels expansion – and so profits – has been Indigenous land rights.

“One of the biggest impediments to fossil fuels expansion globally has been Indigenous land rights”

Fossil fuels executives, behind closed doors, discuss “black tape” as a “risk” and potential impediment to profit. 

The IPA is central to Australia’s climate denial movement. It refuses to say who funds it but in 2018 — as a result of court action — it was revealed Rinehart gave it $4.5m between 2016 and 2017, more than one-third of its income over the period. 

Fund manager Fenwick, who gave $500,000 in the six-month period in two payments, is one of the IPA’s directors. 

Advance’s “Not Zero” site provides a “fact sheet” — which has been written by Advance and the IPA. 

“They call it ‘Net Zero’…but there is a cost…and you’ll be the now who’ll pay,” says the site, which is riddled with climate disinformation. 

“Get the facts. This is what the climate elites don’t want you to know”. 

Please DONATE here and support quality, independent journalism

Source: Advance/Not Zero


Advance, a “right wing” political lobby group which was created in 2018, ran the campaign against the Voice via a murky network of at least six interconnected entities.

They included Advance and its campaign brand Fair Australia (which both claimed the Voice went too far); “Not Enough” (a site suggesting the Voice didn’t go far enough”); “Referendum for News” (which falsely held itself out as an impartial news source); and “Christians for Equality”, which was “endorsed” by far right “Christian” campaigner Lyle Shelton. 

As previously revealed, none of the entities had a telephone number, two of Advance’s three directors filed fake residential addresses.  with regulators, and the entire operation was “based” at a fake national headquarters in Canberra’s CBD. 

Advance’s two fundraising arms were Advance itself and the “charity” arm it created “Australians for Unity”, which was given tax-deductibility status on May 31 last year. 

From then the vast majority of the group’s fundraising was via Australians for Unity. 

The latest AEC filings cover the six months leading up to the Voice referendum on October 14. 

They show Yes campaign entities attracted substantially more funding than the No campaign — as was widely expected — although the No campaign’s war chest was greater than many had tipped. 

(Funding to the Yes movement was far more transparent as many big Yes donors, mostly major corporates, publicly declared their support well ahead of the vote, unlike almost all No funders). 

The main Yes group, Australians for Indigenous Constitutional Recognition, which ran the “Yes23” campaign, spent $43.82m in the six months to referendum day, having raised $47.46m in the period, the disclosures state. 

Advance and Australians for Unity spent $22.26 million over the period.

Please support us and SUBSCRIBE HERE

The 15 biggest spenders in the referendum. Source: AEC


In the six months, Australians for Unity received donations for $10.84m and spent $11.82m. 

In the same time Advance received $1.32m in donations but spent $10.84m, drawing heavily on funds it had raised earlier. 

In its campaign against the Indigenous Voice, Advance falsely claimed it was a “grassroots” movement of “ordinary Australians” and campaigned against the “woke” and the “inner-city elite”. 

It used images depicting hardworking blue-collar Australians in its clinical disinformation campaign against the Voice. 

“Advance is committed to putting everyday Aussies upfront, so that your voice is heard” – Advance

Source: Advance


In fact, it was bankrolled by a handful of the super-rich. 

Many of the payments were obscured, with payments made via holding companies, often with post office boxes listed for addresses. 

As previously reported, in the year to June 30, 2022, the disclosed donors to Advance boiled down to just ten vastly wealthy entities. 

Of those all had fortunes in the tens of millions of dollars — and at least seven of the ten had fortunes of more than $100m. 

Most appear — literally — on the nation’s rich lists. They are the “elite” of the “elite”. 

“More of us are worried about what woke politicians and inner-city elites are doing to our country” – Advance

Please DONATE here and support quality, independent journalism

The FY22 Advance donors. Source: AEC/Various. Graphic: The Klaxon


Most were also major donors to the “No” campaign in the six months before poll day, but through Australians for Unity. 

They include: 

– Sydney’s little-known but mega-wealthy O’Neil family, which made its money in mining, quarries and concrete under late patriarch Les O’Neil, made four payments to Australians for Unity totalling $225,000. The payments were made through shell companies Nedigi Pty Ltd, Sixmilebridge Pty Limited and Willumbury Pty Ltd, all registered to the same Double Bay, Sydney, post office box. The companies were also previously used to make payments to Advance. 

— Brett Ralph, who owns couriers company Jet Couriers owns V8 supercar team Dick Johnson Racing, donated $50,000 to Australians for Unity through JMR Management Consultancy Services. (In 2020-21 Ralph donated $75,000 to Advance across two companies via that same company.) 

— Vitamins mogul Marcus Blackmore, who donated $20,000 in the six months

Blackmore waves from one of his superyachts. His Sydney home (insets). Source: Superyacht Times/Various. Graphic: The Klaxon


— Cattle tycoon, property developer and director of mining company Aurelia Metals Limited, who has estimated personal wealth of over $300m, gave $70,000 across two payments via Brazil Farming Pty Ltd. 

— John and Gabrielle Hull, the multi-millionaire owners of Brisbane-based civil engineering contracting company JF Hull Holdings, gave Australians for Unity $100,000 in the six months. 

—  Melbourne businessman Andrew Abercrombie, who gave $25,000 in the six months to poll day.

Andrew Abercrombie and his two Toorak mansions (top); his Noosa property (bottom right). Source: Supplied


The latest AEC data shows Marius Kloppers, former CEO of the world’s biggest mining company BHP Billiton, donated $100,000 to the No campaign across three payments. A Carin Kloppers donated $25,000. 

Another major donor is an entity called “Karreman Quarries Pty Ltd ATF Karreman Quarries Trust”, which gave $150,000. 

Coal shipping and logistics company Strang International made five payments totalling $63,600 in the six months. 

Major chemicals manufacturers supplying the mining industry, Coogee Chemicals, donated $20,000 to the No campaign in the period. 

The company, which serves the mining industries of Western Australia and Queensland, is owned by the Martin family, one of Perth’s richest families. 

On the Yes side, mining giants Rio Tinto, BHP Group (Klopper’s former employer) and Woodside Energy gave $2m each to Australians for Indigenous Constitutional Recognition. 

Major banks CBA, ANZ and Westpac were also major funders, as was construction giant Lend Lease, and retail group Wesfarmers. 

While the “No” campaign claimed to be a movement of “ordinary Australians” and fighting the “elite”, the latest AEC disclosures further highlight that it was in fact bankrolled by a small number of extremely wealthy individuals. 

In the six months before poll day, Roger Gillespie, the billionaire founder of the Bakers Delight bakery chain, made two donations totalling $90,000. 

Kenneth Warriner, the former CEO of Consolidated Pastoral and close friend of late billionaire Kerry Packer, made $25,000 in donations across five payments. 

Multi-millionaire Melbourne businessman Peter Cooper, 64, who made four payments totalling $275,000 to Advance’s Australians for Unity. They were made by “Maitri Foundation Pty Ltd”, which is 100% owned by an entity called CF Salon Pty Ltd, which is 100% owned by Cooper. 

“It’s time for mainstream Australians to stand up and tell them what we want” — Advance

The $500,000 payments from IPA director Fenwick gave to Australians for Unity in the six-month period were made via a $250,000 payment from Fenwick himself and $250,000 via “Silver River Investment Holdings Pty Ltd ATF the Fenwick Family Trust”. (ATF means “as trustee for”). 

“More of us are worried about what woke politicians and inner-city elites are doing to our country” – Advance

Fenwick, co-founder of multi-billion-dollar US-based International Value Advisors, also gave $400,000 to Advance in the 2022-23 financial year. 

Fenwick had publicly “pledged to spend up to $250,000 to oppose the Voice the AFR reported in April last year, 

Multi-millionaires Anne Neate her brother Richard Harbig also gave Australians for Unity $500,000 in the six months before poll day period. 

“Advance is committed to putting everyday Aussies upfront” — Advance

The payments were made through an entity called Riley Street Car Park Pty Ltd ($250,000) and another called Harbig Properties Pty Ltd ($250,000). 

Company searches show Riley Street Car Park Pty Ltd is 50% owned by “Bradpole Proprietary Limited” and 50% owned by “P. & M. Harbig & Co. Proprietary Limited” — which both list the same office in Melbourne’s Hawthorn East as their address. 

The “ultimate holding company” of those two entities is “P. & M. Harbig (Holdings) Proprietary Limited” — which is owned by Anne Neate and Richard Harbig. 

Harbig Properties Pty Ltd, through which the other $250,000 payment was made, is owned by Harbig Nominees Proprietary Limited (of the same Hawthorn East address).  

Harbig Nominees Proprietary Limited is owned by Neate (50%), Harbig (1%) and 49% by a Matthew Mark Leibler. 

Neate lives in a $21m mansion on the clifftop in Melbourne’s exclusive Portsea. Harbig lives in a mansion in Hawthorn. 

“Mainstream Australia is under siege by stupid laws and woke ideologies…cooked up by elites that have no idea what it’s like to work for a living” – Advance

The pair are the children of Melbourne property investor Richard “Dick” Harbig, who passed away in 2011, and Fella Harbig, the founder of successful womenswear brand of the same name. 

“The pair are the children of Melbourne property investor Richard ‘Dick’ Harbig and Fella Harbig”

In the six-month period two payments of $15,000 each were made via a company called Porto Katsiki Pty Ltd (which shares its name with a Greek beach). It is 100% held by a company called Pefkoulia Pty Ltd. 

The sole director and majority owner of Pefkoulia Pty Ltd is Sydney financier Anthony Voudanos, who owns and operates Kosmos Asset Management, the investment management firm he co-founded in 2007. 

Ronald Pitcher, the founder of accounting firm Pitcher Partners made two payments totalling $30,000. 

“Instead of representing everyday Aussies like you, our politicians have chosen to pander to big business and inner-city elites” — Advance

Multi-millionaire Brisbane businessmen Peter Dee and Clifford Dee, who list their address as a sprawling home at Yeronga on the banks of the Brisbane River, made $70,000 across three payments via their company Currabulla Pty Ltd. 

Sydney businessman Michael Quinn, who lives in a sprawling mansion in Wahroonga on Sydney’s north shore, made two payments totalling $50,250. 

Steve Baxter. Source: Twitter/X


Also donating to the No campaign in the final six months was vastly wealthy Queensland tech entrepreneur Steve Baxter, who was one of the “sharks” on Australian television series Shark Tank, has estimated wealth of $100m. 

He gave $20,000 via his company Pesca Aviation. 

Advance’s aggressive anti-Voice campaigning, which included a full-page racist advertisement in the Australian Financial Review, coincided with a collapse in support for the proposal, from almost 60% in April to just under 40% by the mid-October poll.  

Source: AFR


Advance and its three directors, Matthew Sheahan; Vicky Dunne, a former long-time ACT Liberal MP; and a “Laura Bradley”, have all refused to respond to The Klaxon despite repeated requests over the past six months.

The shadowy group continued pushing bigotry and racism ahead of last month’s Federal Dunkley by-election, including running a full-page advertisement in Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper referring to immigrant “rapists, paedophiles and murderers” — although the seat was retained by the ALP. 

Source: Advance


Advance posted to social media ads depicting splattered blood, hoodie-wearing “immigrants”. 

“We have criminal immigrants running loose: Thanks Albo, this is on you and it’s your job to fix it,” said one Advance video, narrated with a heavy American accent. 

“Criminal immigrants running loose”, according to Advance. Source: Twitter/X


The Voice was defeated despite overwhelming support from Indigenous Australians, with polls showing support of up to 80 per cent.

Advance has claimed full credit for the failure of the Voice. 

Source: Resolve Political Monitor


“The No campaign turned 65% Yes into 60% No” and had been “one of the most influential campaigns in Australian political history”, says an Advance “campaign report“.

“Victory in the Voice referendum! This win is all down to you!” 

BEFORE YOU GO: Truly independent, quality journalism is vital to our democracy – as you can see from the above. We receive zero funding from anywhere other than support from our readers. We need your help to keep doing this work. Please SUBSCRIBE HERE or support us by making a ONE-OFF DONATION. Thank you!

Anthony Klan

Editor, The Klaxon

Help us get the truth out from as little as $10/month.

Experience the thrill of real money online casinos in South Africa reviewed by! Dive into a world of exciting games, lucrative bonuses, and immersive experiences. From classic table games to cutting-edge slots, there’s something for every player. Explore top-rated casinos with secure payment options and excellent customer support. Start your journey to big wins today!
Unleash the excitement of playing your favorite casino games from the comfort of your own home or on the go. With real money online casinos in South Africa, the possibilities are endless. Whether you’re into classic slots, progressive jackpots, or live dealer games, you’ll find it all at your fingertips. Join the millions of players enjoying the thrill of real money gambling and see if today is your lucky day!

The need for fearless, independent media has never been greater. Journalism is on its knees – and the media landscape is riddled with vested interests. Please consider subscribing for as little as $10 a month to help us keep holding the powerful to account.


The Klaxon. What's Actually Going On.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.


The Klaxon. What's Actually Going On.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.