The West

A company controlled by media and ad man John Singleton sank more than $740,000 into the election campaigns of two independents who got just eight per cent of the vote.

Figures released by the Australian Electoral Commission show the company, OGNIS Pty Ltd, donated $372,000 towards the campaign of former Australian cricketer Nathan Bracken who ran in the NSW Central Coast seat of Dobell at last year's poll.

Mr Bracken received just over eight per cent of the primary.

The company also donated $372,000 to Lawrie McKinna who got 8.7 per cent of the vote in the seat of Robertson which was held by Labor's Deb O'Neill.

Mr McKinna was the foundation coach of the Central Coast Mariners A-League team and local mayor of Gosford.

Ms O'Neill is now a Labor senator, filling the spot left by former Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr.

The money went towards advertising, campaign materials and research.

The $744,000 dwarfs the $580,000 donated to the Liberal Party by Ros Packer, the wife of Kerry Packer.

The AEC returns, which specifically cover the 2013 election, do not as yet include donations made through the major political parties. They are not due for release until February next year.

Successful independent Cathy McGowan, who defeated Liberal frontbencher Sophie Mirabella in her Victorian regional seat, received $137,000 from 1120 donors.

In WA, veteran prospector Mark Creasy donated $14,000 to the campaign of the National party's Chub Witham in his failed bid for the seat of O'Connor.

The West Australian

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