Turnbull donated $1.75m to Liberal Party

An electoral commission report has failed to shed light on Malcolm Turnbull's rumoured donations. (AAP)

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has revealed he contributed $1.75 million to the Liberal Party's federal election campaign.

Malcolm Turnbull has revealed he donated $1.75 million to the cash-strapped Liberal Party during the 2016 federal election campaign.

The prime minister confirmed the figure for the first time on Wednesday night after dodging questions on the amount earlier in the day.

The Turnbulls' contribution was made in the current financial year, so was not included in Australian Electoral Commission political funding disclosures for the 2015/16 released on Wednesday.

After calling for an overhaul of political donations in a speech to the National Press Club, Mr Turnbull still refused to reveal the extent of his own contribution to his party, prompting opposition leader Bill Shorten to suggest his "secrecy" made it sound "tricky and shifty".

But on Wednesday night, Mr Turnbull told the ABC he and wife Lucy had always been financially generous with causes they each believed in.

"We have always been generous because we know that we have done well in life and we believe it is part of our duty to give back," he told the 7.30 program.

"I contributed $1.75 million, that was the contribution I made. It has been talked about and speculated about but there it is.

"That's a substantial contribution, I can assure you we make big contributions to many important enterprises and causes. I've always been prepared to put my money where my mouth is."

Australians were more interested in what he was doing with their money than with his own, Mr Turnbull said.

However, Labor finance spokesman Jim Chalmers said it was clear Mr Turnbull had to "buy his way out of trouble" in the dying days of the election campaign.

"He couldn't win an election on his merits so he got out his wallet," Mr Chalmers said.

"If Malcolm Turnbull didn't have $1.75 million in his back pocket he wouldn't be the leader of the Liberal Party - and he wouldn't be prime minister."

Mr Turnbull on Wednesday told the National Press Club he backed a ban on foreign donations, limiting who can contribute to "Australians and Australian businesses ... via a political party, an activist group like GetUp or an association or union".

The AEC figures showed the Liberals received $80.2 million over the year while Labor received $61 million.

Mining magnate Paul Marks, a friend of former prime minister Tony Abbott, was the biggest single donor to the Liberal Party, contributing $1.4 million.

Former cabinet minister Ian Macfarlane donated nearly $70,000 to the Liberal-National Party in Queensland while Immigration Minister Peter Dutton gave $50,000.

Another cabinet minister, Simon Birmingham, donated $20,000 to the Liberal Party's federal division.

Australian-Chinese property billionaire Chau Chak Wing gave $530,000 to Liberal coffers and $150, 000 to Labor through his Hong Kong-based investment company.

Village Roadshow was the single biggest donor to the Labor Party, contributing $257,000, although that is less than the $325,000 it gave to the Liberals.

Graeme Wood, founder of the travel website Wotif, donated $630,000 to the Greens and $6000 to the Queensland branch of the ALP.

Pauline Hanson loaned $155,000 to her One Nation party and donated a further $35,000.

Clive Palmer and his companies pumped $1.67 million into the Palmer United Party's 2016 election campaign, which resulted in the party losing both of its seats.

Source AAP

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