Funding and disclosure
New laws governing political funding and disclosure are now in place.
The laws incorporate a number of changes, including caps on political donations and a requirement for donations of $1,000 or more to be disclosed online.
Obligations under these laws will come into effect in stages.
These new laws are contained in amendments to the Electoral Act 2002 (external link)
Changes from 1 August
From 1 August 2018, there will be a ban on:
- foreign donations (donors will need to be an Australian citizen or resident, or a business with an Australian Business Number)
- anonymous donations of $1,000 or more.
Registered political parties may also appoint a 'nominated entity'. For more details, see Information for recipients below.
From 1 August 2018, the VEC will be required to pay administrative funding to registered political parties with Parliamentary representation and independent elected members.
Independent elected members are eligible to receive up to $200,000 per year.
Registered political parties are eligible to receive an amount that is tiered based on their number of elected members, capped at 45 members. Payments start at $200,000 per year for the first member, scale down to $70,000 for the second member and $35,000 for the third to forty-fifth members.
There are certain restrictions on the use that Registered Political Parties or independent elected members can make in relation to this funding. This includes not using the funds on an election campaign.
Changes from 25 November 2018
From 25 November 2018:
- prospective recipients of political donations must establish and maintain an account with a bank or financial institution to manage political donations and expenditure
- certain recipients may appoint agents to manage political donations and public funding
- eligible registered political parties will receive annual policy development funding at a rate of $1 per first preference vote or $25,000 (whichever is greater)
- donors and recipients will be required to disclose all political donations of $1,000 or more via the VEC website within 21 days
- there will be a $4,000 cap on political donations from any one donor to any one recipient in an election period, for more details see Information for donors below
- recipients will need to provide a report, known as an ‘annual return’, to the VEC on their political donations, expenditure and debt – the first return will cover 25 November 2018 – 30 June 2019 and will be published no later than 31 December 2019
- eligible registered political parties and independent candidates may receive advance payments of public funding - the rates for advance payments will be $6 per first preference vote for Legislative Assembly candidates and $3 per first preference vote for Legislative Council candidates.
ResourcesThe VEC has produced the following resources and forms for donors and recipients:
- Administrative Expenditure Funding - Application - Independent Elected Member 2018 (PDF, 310kB)
- Administrative Expenditure Funding - Application - Registered Political Party 2018 (PDF, 301kB)
- Nominated Entity Appointment Form - Registered Political Party (PDF, 171kB)
- Information for Associated Entities (PDF, 222kB)
- Information for Candidates (PDF, 314kB)
- Information for Donors (PDF, 176kB)
- Information for Elected Members (PDF, 216kB)
- Information for Groups (PDF, 213kB)
- Information for Registered Political Parties (PDF, 227kB)
- Information for Third Party Campaigners (PDF, 209kB)
If you would like more information, are interested in attending a webinar or would like to receive updates, please sign up for funding and disclosure updates