House of Representatives Committees



| Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters

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Appendix D—Comparison of Commonwealth, State and Territory schemes

Table D.1       Comparison of Commonwealth, States and Territory schemes

 

Commonwealth

New South Wales

Queensland

Western Australia

Australian Capital Territory

Northern Territory

Public funding

YES – direct entitlement scheme

 

4% threshold of first preference votes cast

 

 

YES –reimbursement scheme

 

4% threshold of first preference votes cast

YES – reimbursement scheme

 

4% threshold of first preference votes cast

YES – reimbursement scheme

 

4% threshold of first preference votes cast

YES – direct entitlement scheme

 

4% threshold of eligible votes

None

Administrative/ ongoing funding

NO

YES – annual payments for registered political parties with elected members and Independents

YES – Bi-annual payments for eligible registered political parties and Independents

NO

NO

NO

Financial disclosure

Annual returns by political parties, associated entities, donors, third parties

 

Election returns by candidates, Senate groups, election donors

Annual returns by party agents or official agents must disclose details of political donations above $1 000 and aggregate of donations below $1 000

 

Annual returns by party agents or official agents of members, candidate, third parties and groups must lodge annual returns of donations and electoral expenditure

Bi-annual returns (six-monthly disclosure)

 

Special reporting of large donations

 

Election returns detailing expenditure by political parties, candidates and third parties

 

Broadcaster and publisher returns

Annual returns by political parties and associated entities

 

Election returns by third parties and candidates

Annual returns by political parties, associated entities, MLAs, donors

 

Election returns by donors to candidates, persons incurring political expenditure and broadcasters and publishers

Annual returns by political parties, associated entities, donors

 

Election returns by candidates, third parties


Table D.1         Comparison of Commonwealth, States and Territory schemes (continued)

 

Commonwealth

New South Wales

Queensland

Western Australia

Australian Capital Territory

Northern Territory

Threshold

$10 000, indexed according to CPI

($11 500 for the 2010-2011 financial year)

$1 000

$1 000

$2100 (not clear from legislation – obtained figure from WAEC website) (indexed figure)

$1 000

$1 500 (donations to registered political parties),

 

If a person receives gifts of $1 000 or more  to make donations, these must be disclosed

 

$200 (donations to candidates);

 

$1 000 to entities declared by NTEC to be an entity to which the disclosure obligation applies

Caps

NO

YES

YES

NO

NO

NO

Bans

YES – anonymous gifts to political parties

YES – tobacco industry, liquor or gambling industry and property developers, close associates of these and industry representative organisations of these cannot make political donations

YES – anonymous and foreign donations

YES – anonymous gifts over $2100

YES – anonymous gifts above $1 000 to parties, MLAs, candidates and associated entities

YES – anonymous gifts over $1 000 to political parties and over $200 to candidates


Table D.1         Comparison of Commonwealth, States and Territory schemes (continued)

 

Commonwealth

New South Wales

Queensland

Western Australia

Australian Capital Territory

Northern Territory

Expenditure

Third parties incurring political expenditure must submit an annual disclosure return

Candidates and Senate groups must disclose their donations and expenditure following an election

Political parties and associated entities must disclose a total figure for payments made during the financial year

Caps on ‘electoral communication expenditure’

Capped expenditure period is from 1 October in the year before the election (fixed election date in March)

All electoral expenditure is required to be disclosed, whether incurred during a capped expenditure period or not

Caps on electoral expenditure

Political parties must submit disclosure returns detailing all electoral expenditure incurred during the capped expenditure period

Disclosure of gifts used to incur expenditure by third parties

Political parties, candidates, Senate groups and third parties must lodge election returns detailing expenditure incurred, even if nil

Candidates must disclose electoral expenditure over $1 000

Broadcaster and publisher returns must include details of expenditure

Candidates must disclose electoral expenditure following an election, unless expenditure incurred was less than $200; statement must be given to NTEC where nil expenditure was incurred

Political parties and associated entities disclose total expenditure in annual returns

Compliance

AEC has power to conduct compliance reviews of political parties, associated entities and donors that give more than $25 000

 

AEC has power to compel production of certain documents in some circumstances

EFA has a range of enforcement options including (in ascending order of severity):

·   written warning or advice of breach;

·   penalty notice;

·   recovery of monetary amount;

·   compliance agreements

·   Supreme Court injunction; and

·   prosecution

Authorised officers have particular powers to conduct inspections and enter premises

Investigatory power along same lines of Commonwealth – authorised officers have power to compel documents and conduct investigations

‘Prescribed persons’ under the legislation may conduct investigations to compel production of documents or evidence

Commission has power to issue investigation notices, compel document or give evidence


Table D.1         Comparison of Commonwealth, States and Territory schemes (continued)

 

Commonwealth

New South Wales

Queensland

Western Australia

Australian Capital Territory

Northern Territory

Administrative agency

Funding and disclosure administered by the Australian Electoral Commission

Election Funding Authority is responsible for funding and disclosure – it is a corporation with the corporation name ‘Election Funding Authority of NSW’

The NSW Electoral Commission is the administrative unit through which the Election Funding Authority exercises its statutory responsibilities

Funding and disclosure administered by the Electoral Commission of Queensland

Funding and disclosure administered by the WA Electoral Commission

Funding and disclosure administered by Elections ACT

Funding and disclosure administered by the Northern Territory Electoral Commission

Source        Prepared based on material from the Electoral Commission websites: Australian Electoral Commission <http://www.aec.gov.au/Parties_and_Representatives/index.htm>, NSW Election Funding Authority <http://www.efa.nsw.gov.au/>, Electoral Commission Queensland <http://www.ecq.qld.gov.au/financial.aspx?id=675>, Western Australian Electoral Commission <http://www.waec.wa.gov.au/pp_candidate/financial_disclosure/>, ACT Electoral Commission <http://www.elections.act.gov.au/political_parties/funding_and_disclosure>, and Northern Territory Electoral Commission <www.nt.gov.au/nteo>

 

 

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