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A mystery Perth shell company controlled by a 94-year-old but with secret ownership — and a company owned by a coal billionaire — were among the biggest funders of the “No” campaign against the Voice to parliament. 

Data released today by the Australian Electoral Commission reveals that in the year to June 30, 2023, the shadowy outfit at the heart of the anti-Indigenous Voice campaign, “Advance”, received payments of $5.2m. 

The disclosures confirm earlier reports that the campaign — which claimed to be a “grassroots” movement of “ordinary Australians” — was in fact bankrolled by a handful of the mega-rich. 

As previoulsy revealed by The Klaxon, Advance, is “based” at a fake national headquarters in Canberra’s CBD, and two-thirds of its directors have filed fake residential addresses with regulators. 

The Klaxon’s expose yesterday. Source: The Klaxon


Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) today released political “donations” data for the year to June 30 — just over three months before the October 14 Voice referendum — with the previous most recent public data being for the year to June 30, 2022. 

Advance was the nerve centre of the at least six interconnected, shadowy entities that comprised the “No” campaign against giving Indigenous Australians a constitutionally enshrined Voice to parliament. 

The AEC disclosures show coal billionaire Trevor St Baker, one of the nation’s most active fossil fuels spruikers, gave Advance $50,000 in 2022-23. 

Other major donors to Advance in the period — all also major donors to Advance in 2021-22 — included Kennards Self Storage billionaire Sam Kennard ($115,000); fund manager Simon Fenwick ($400,000); reclusive sporting teams and V8 Supercars mogul Brett Ralph ($50,000); and vitamins billionaire Marcus Blackmore ($20,000). 

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Coal billionaire and “Advance” funder Trevor St Baker. Source: Supplied


St Baker Enterprises, which is owned by St Baker, donated $50,000 to Advance in 2022-23, the AEC filings show. 

St Baker, who accumulated his fortune through coal and fossil gas power stations, has a net wealth of $1.21 billion, according to the Australian Financial Review rich list. 

As previously revealed, Advance has deep ties to the fossil fuels sector — and aggressively spreads pro-fossil fuels disinformation through an arm called “Not Zero”. 

Advance arm “Not Zero”. Source: Not Zero/Advance


In recent years, one of the biggest impediments to fossil fuels expansion globally — and so fossil fuels profits — has been Indigenous land rights. 

The Voice “Yes” campaign received large amounts of money from corporate donors, including retail giant Wesfarmers, as well as $5m from the philanthropic Paul Ramsay Foundation, with much of that funding announced publicly by those donors during the campaign.

By contrast, many of the major donors to Advance have only become known publicly once AEC disclosures are released, which must occur by law on February 1 each year.

The total funding of the “Yes” and “No” campaigns won’t be released until April 1. That data will disclose the total payments to each campaign over the six months leading up to the referendum.

The AEC filings show the biggest payment to Advance in 2022-23 — and also one of the biggest political “donations” to be made overall in Australia in the period — was made by “Hadley Holdings Pty Ltd”, a company registered to a Perth post office box. 

Hadley Holdings made “donations” to Advance of $25,000” and of “$1,000,000”, the filings show. 

Its address in the AEC filings is stated as “PO Box 1236, West Perth, WA”. 

Searches by The Klaxon reveal Hadley Holdings Pty Ltd has $2 in equity. 

The companies register shows Hadley Holdings has two directors — a Brian Hadley Anderson, 94, and a Lena Hilton, 77. 

It shows Hadley Holdings is owned by another entity, Anderson Nominees Pty Limited. 

Yet the true owner, or owners, of Hadley Holdings, and of Anderson Nominees —and so the true “donor” behind the $1.025m to Advance — is hidden from both the public and regulators. 

That’s because Anderson Nominees is the “legal” owner of Hadley Holdings, but not the “beneficial” — or actual — owner.

Australia has no “beneficial owners” register, so it is not possible to determine the identity of actual owner, or owners, of Hadley Holdings — the actual “donor” behind the $1.025m to Advance.

“The true ownership is hidden because Australia has no ‘beneficial owners’ register”

Despite having strong support among voters — and very high levels of support among Indigenous Australians — support for the Voice collapsed months out from the October 14 referendum and the proposal was defeated. 

That nosedive in support coincided with both Opposition leader Peter Dutton rejecting the proposal, and the agressive ramping-up of the Advance campaign. 

Source: Resolve Political Monitor

In unprecedented scenes, media were barred from the  “No” campaign’s official function held after polls closed on the evening of October 14, at the ritzy Hyatt Regency hotel in Brisbane. 

Media handlers refused to say who was in attendance. 

The one attendee spotted by media was Australia’s richest woman — mining and fossil fuels multi-billionaire Gina Rinehart. 

Rinehart’s name does not appear on the AEC list of Advance donors, either in 2022-23 or the year before. 

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The super-elite bankrolling the anti-Voice campaign. Source: The Klaxon


In October, building on earlier reports by Crikey, The Klaxon revealed that the Advance “donors” listed in AEC filings for 2021-22 boiled down to ten entitles — at least eight of which had estimated fortunes of $100m or more. 

The “elite” and “inner-city woke” were the enemy, according to Advance. 

In fact, the campaign was bankrolled by the mega wealthy: the super-elite. 

Rinehart has repeatedly refused to comment. 

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Anthony Klan

Editor, The Klaxon

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