Political donations

Part 12 of Victoria’s Electoral Act 2002 regulates political donations for State elections.

Banned donations

The following types of political donations are prohibited:

  • foreign donations (donations may only be given by Australian citizens, residents or businesses)
  • anonymous donations of $1,040 or more
  • donations from one donor to one recipient which, in total, exceed the general donation cap of $4,160 over the four-year election period
  • donations to more than six third-party campaigners over the four-year election period.

Disclosure rules at a glance

  • Anyone who makes or receives a political donation of $1,040* or more must disclose it using the VEC online disclosure system, VEC Disclosures, within 21 days of making or receiving the donation.
  • Small contributions (under $52*) do not count towards the $4,160* general donation cap but it is an offence to make or receive multiple small contributions to deliberately avoid the disclosure threshold or general donation cap.

  • Anyone who may receive a political donation must open and maintain a dedicated State campaign account for donations.
  • Recipients of political donations must provide an annual return to the VEC each financial year detailing their political donations, expenditure and debt (exceptions apply).

*These amounts are indexed and will change on 1 July each year. See the Indexation page for more information.

Disclose a political donation

What is a political donation?

A political donation is any gift made to:

  • a political party that is registered in Victoria
  • a candidate at a Victorian State election
  • a group of Legislative Council (Upper House) candidates at a Victorian State election
  • an elected member of the Victorian State Parliament
  • an associated entity operating in Victoria
  • a nominated entity of a political party registered in Victoria
  • a third-party campaigner operating in Victoria.

Gifts include:

  • money
  • services (including paid labour)
  • loans
  • guarantees
  • property (including a loan of assets).

Gifts do not include:

  • gifts made in a private capacity for personal use
  • annual subscriptions to political parties registered in Victoria
  • annual affiliation fees to political parties registered in Victoria
  • annual levies to political parties registered in Victoria
  • gifts between a registered political party and its nominated entity
  • gifts made for Commonwealth (federal) electoral purposes
  • volunteer labour
  • labour shared between branches
  • property used by a shared labour resource between branches (e.g. a telephone used by a worker).

Who can make a political donation?

Any Australian citizen, Australian resident, and any organisation that has an Australian Business Number may make a political donation.

Who can receive a political donation?

Any of the following individuals, groups or organisations may receive a political donation:

  • a political party that is registered in Victoria
  • a candidate at a Victorian State election
  • a group of Legislative Council (Upper House) candidates at a Victorian State election
  • an elected member of the Victorian State Parliament
  • an associated entity operating in Victoria
  • a nominated entity of a political party registered in Victoria
  • a third-party campaigner operating in Victoria.

Can I see who has made or received political donations?

You can view donations made and received via VEC Disclosures. The following details are available:

  • who has made political donations
  • who has received political donations
  • the political donation amounts
  • the date political donations were made or received.

View political donations

Where can I find information on donations for local council elections?

Donations to local council candidates are regulated by the Local Government Act 2020 and are not subject to the requirements under the Electoral Act 2002.

The agency responsible for monitoring the submission of local council candidate campaign donation returns is the Victorian Local Government Inspectorate, although the returns themselves must be submitted to the Chief Executive Officer of the relevant local council.

Where can I find information on donations for federal government elections?

Federal election campaign donations are regulated by Part XX of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. The Australian Electoral Commission is the agency responsible for administering these federal political donation and funding laws.

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Information for recipients

Learn more about who is a recipient and their obligations.

Read more about recipients

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Information for donors

Learn more about who is a donor and their obligations.

Read more about donors

More information

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