Explanatory notes for statements of registrable interests
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(agreed to by committee of
senators’ interests on 19 june 2002; amended 18 june 2003, 13 october 2003, 29 march 2006, 10 August 2006, 6 September 2006 and 20 March 2007)
PART 1 – GENERAL
Statement of registrable interests
purpose of the statement of registrable interests is to advise of senators’ interests in accordance with a resolution of the Senate of 17 March 1994, as amended on 21 June 1995, 13 May 1998, 22 November 1999, 15 September 2003 and 10 August 2006.
statement, in two parts, is kept in a Register of Senators’ Interests,
similarly divided. The registrable interests of a senator are declared in Form A,
and comprise that part of the register which is available for public
inspection from the date of receipt, and which is also eventually tabled in the
Senate. The registrable interests, of
which the senator is aware, of a senator’s spouse or partner, or any
children who are wholly or mainly dependent on the senator for support, are
declared in Form B. The senator is
not required to disclose the name(s) of a spouse, partner or children. Nor is
there a requirement to return Form B if a senator does not have a spouse,
partner or dependent children, or is not aware of their interests. Form B
constitutes the part of the Register of Senators’ Interests which is NOT available for public inspection.
The interests recorded in Form B remain confidential to the Committee of
Senators’ Interests unless the committee considers that a conflict of interest
arises, at which time the committee may table the declaration.
Requirement to submit statement of
resolution requires that all senators must provide a statement of registrable
interests within 28 days of making or subscribing an oath or affirmation of
allegiance as a senator AND within
28 days after the first meeting of the Senate after 1 July first occurring
after a general election.
who are elected or appointed for the first time to the Senate should declare any
benefits received from the date of their election or appointment as a senator,
as well as interests as at the date of making and subscribing an oath or
affirmation of allegiance.
the case of re-elected or continuing senators, the statement of interests
should include details of benefits received since the last notification of
alterations of interests, as well as interests as at the date of the first
meeting of the Senate following a simultaneous dissolution, or after 1 July
following a general election.
children’ means dependent children under 16 years of age or dependent full-time
students under 25 years of age. ‘Partner’ means a person who is living with
another person in a bona fide
interests are held jointly with a spouse or partner, former spouse or partner,
or dependent children the interests need to be included only as interests of
the senator with an appropriate notation such as ‘jointly owned with [former]
spouse or partner’.
interests could be included under more than one heading, they need to be
included only under the most specific heading unless two aspects need to be
disclosed (e.g. real estate, plus a mortgage liability on that real estate or
savings or investment accounts, plus a deposit by a third party that is also a
Form A and Form B must be completed as appropriate, in typescript if possible,
signed by the senator, and returned
to the Registrar of Senators’ Interests as originals, not faxes. For the
purposes of meeting the 28-day deadline, signed faxed copies may initially be
sent, followed by the signed originals.
question on each form should be answered in some definitive way even if only,
for example, nil.
senator may make a new, full declaration of interests at any time.
Notification of alteration of interests
alteration to a senator’s registrable interests, or those of the senator’s
spouse or partner, or dependent children, must be notified to the registrar within 35 days of the change occurring.
All notifications of alteration of senators’ interests, too, are public from
date of receipt. Notifications of alteration of spouses’, etc., interests
remain confidential under the same conditions as Form B of the statement of
with investments or other registrable interests managed by a financial or other
agent are responsible for arranging their affairs to ensure that they receive
timely information to enable them to comply with the 35 day notification
requirements for alterations of interests.
forms are available in hard copy or electronically, and alterations are
notified to the registrar in the same manner as statements of registrable
Publication of statements and
alterations of interests
copy of that part of the Register of Senators’ Interests which is publicly
available (Form A) is tabled in the Senate in each Parliament (in practice, as
soon as possible after the swearing-in of State senators after a periodical or
simultaneous dissolution election). Notifications of alterations of interests
declared on Form A are tabled at least every six months (towards the end of the
winter and summer sittings).
PART 2 – GUIDANCE
ON INTERESTS TO BE DECLARED
Senators’ responsibility for statement
of registrable interests
these notes are intended to give some guidance to senators in compiling their
statement, final decisions on the appropriate interpretation of the resolution
are the responsibility of individual senators.
asterix (*) after the phrase ‘the senator’s spouse or partner, or dependent
children’ signifies that a senator is required only to declare the separate
holdings of spouse, partner or dependent children on Form B, and only if the
senator is aware of such holdings.
Note: It is not necessary to declare the actual number or
value of shares, or the value of assets, sponsored travel, hospitality or
gifts. Nor is it necessary to declare the actual amounts held in savings or
investment accounts, amounts of liabilities, or amounts received as income, including
income from investments.
1. Shareholdings in public and private companies
(including holding companies) indicating the name of the company or companies
- Notify any
relevant interest in any shares including equitable as well as legal interests,
whether held directly or indirectly, which enables a senator, the senator’s
spouse or partner or dependent children* to exercise control over the right to
vote or dispose of those shares.
- This includes
shares held by a family or business trust, a nominee company, a partnership or
a self-managed superannuation fund where a senator, the senator’s spouse or
partner or dependent children (or two or more of the senator, the senator’s
spouse or partner, or a dependent child or dependent children acting together)*
are able to exercise control over the right to vote or dispose of those shares.
- Where interests
are held in a private holding company (i.e. a proprietary company formed for
the purpose of investing in subsidiary companies) all such subsidiary
companies, and any subsidiary companies held by those subsidiary companies,
should be named.
shareholdings held amount to a controlling interest in a company it is
necessary to register any shareholdings held by that company in another company
or other companies.
- It is not
necessary to notify shareholdings held as an executor or trustee of a deceased
estate where the senator, the senator’s spouse or partner or dependent children
are not beneficiaries of that estate.
- It is not
necessary to notify an alteration in the quantity of shares held in a
particular company. Notify an alteration when shares are bought in a new
company, or a shareholding in a particular company is wholly disposed of.
2. Family and business trusts and nominee companies:
(i) in which a beneficial interest is held, indicating
the name of the trust, the nature of its operation and beneficial interest, and
in which the senator, the senator’s spouse or
partner, or a child who is wholly or mainly dependent on the senator for support,*
is a trustee (but not including a trustee of an estate where no beneficial
interest is held by the senator, the senator’s spouse or partner or dependent
children), indicating the name of the trust, the nature of its operation and
the beneficiary of the trust
interests and trustee responsibilities (except as trustee of a deceased estate
where neither the senator, the senator’s spouse or
partner nor dependent
children are beneficiaries of the estate) should be specified.
In respect of shareholdings
held by a family or business trust or nominee company, see the note under ‘1.
3. Real estate, including the location (suburb or area
only) and the purpose for which it is owned
is no need to specify street address—general location (e.g. suburb or area, and
State or Territory) is adequate.
- ‘Purpose for
which owned’—Specify whether property is used as a residence, as a holiday
home, as a farm, or is held for investment or other business purposes.
- In the case of
the purchase or disposal of real estate, the date of settlement is to be
considered the date of alteration of interests, and notification should be made
within 35 days of that date.
- It is not
necessary to notify legal title to real estate held as an executor or trustee
of a deceased estate where the senator, the senator’s spouse or partner or
dependent children are not beneficiaries of that estate.
4. Registered directorships of companies
- Indicate the
name of the company and the activities of the company.
5. Partnerships, indicating the nature of the interests
and the activities of the partnership
- Under ‘nature of
the interests’ specify level of current involvement in partnership (e.g.
‘financial/sleeping partner)’, ‘consultant’).
- Specify the
purpose or operations of the partnership (e.g. investment, consultancy).
6. Liabilities, indicating the nature of the liability
and the creditor concerned
- Include all
liabilities in excess of $10,000 (e.g. mortgages, hire-purchase and lease
arrangements, personal loans, overdrafts and contingent liabilities).
- Include trading
accounts of a nature which might be sensitive to implications of conflict of
incurred on a department store account or on a credit card need not be
7. The nature of any bonds, debentures and like
- ‘Investments’ means all investments, including placement of monies, which attract interest or
8. Savings or investment accounts, indicating their
nature and the name of the bank or other institutions concerned
non-interest-bearing cheque accounts need not be included, but savings accounts
and investment accounts of the senator, the senator’s spouse or partner or
dependent children* should be included.
9. The nature of any other assets (excluding household
and personal effects) each valued at more than $7,500
- List all
personal possessions of value other than ordinary household or personal
- Motor vehicles
for personal use need not be included.
- Collections need
not be included.
- Items which
might be listed under more specific headings (e.g. investments, gifts received)
need not be included here.
- Private life
assurance and superannuation, including
self-managed superannuation funds, should be included but parliamentary
superannuation under a State or the Commonwealth scheme need not be included.
- As a general
rule of thumb, items of under $7,500 in value may not require inclusion under
this heading unless they are of a nature which might be sensitive to
implications of conflict of interest.
nature of any other substantial sources of income
- The senator’s
own salary and allowances as a senator need not be included.
- Include in Form
A the source of any income of the senator, including income held jointly from
investments, annuity arrangements, pensions or under government assistance
schemes (but not including family allowance).
- Include in Form
B the source of a spouse or partner’s income, of which the senator is aware, from employment or a business
undertaking, and the source of any income,
of which the senator is aware, of the senator’s spouse, partner or
dependent children from investments, annuity arrangements, pensions or under
government assistance schemes (but not including family allowance).
- Note that no
minimum income is specified as notifiable and senators will need to use their
discretion in this regard. As a general rule of thumb, income of less than
$5,000 per annum need not be notified unless, in the judgment of the senator,
it might be sensitive to implications of conflict of interest.
11. Gifts valued at more than $750 received
from official sources (such sources being an Australian or foreign national,
State, provincial or local government or a person holding an office in such a
government), or at $300 or more where received from other than official
sources, provided that a gift received by a senator, the senator’s spouse or
partner or dependent children from family members or personal friends in a
purely personal capacity need not be registered unless the senator judges that
an appearance of conflict of interest may be seen to exist
- Senators, when
first elected, should include any relevant gifts received from the date of
their election. Senators re-elected should include any relevant gifts not
previously notified to the registrar.
- The source of
any gift should be identified by name.
- A special
declaration is required relating to gifts intended by the donor to be given to the Senate or the Parliament (see Part
2 of this booklet).
12. Any sponsored travel or hospitality
received where the value of the sponsorship or hospitality exceeds $300
travel’ means any free, upgraded or concessional travel undertaken by the
senator, the senator’s spouse or partner or dependent children* sponsored
wholly or partly by any person, organisation, business or interest group or
foreign government or its representative. It does not include concessional
travel entitlements, or travel undertaken using frequent flyer points,
generally available to the public. Nor does it include the travel entitlements
received by the senator, the senator’s spouse or partner or dependent children
under any determination of the Remuneration Tribunal or travel undertaken as a
member of an official parliamentary delegation. The purpose for which the
travel was undertaken should be shown.
refers to free or concessional accommodation provided to the senator, the
senator’s spouse or partner or dependent children wholly or partly by any
person, organisation, business or interest group or foreign government or its
representative. It includes the provision of free or concessional meals as part
of an accommodation arrangement but does not include hospitality provided in a
purely social way by friends or colleagues. There is no need to include
entertainment or benefits received in common with significant numbers of other
senators or other persons, such as a reception or dinner hosted by a High
Commissioner or Ambassador, or access to airline lounges.
- Serial receipt
of hospitality, eg, regular receipt of free theatre tickets or tickets from
sporting organisations, should be declared each six months if the collective
value exceeds $300.
13. Being an officeholder of, or financial
contributor donating $300 or more in any single calendar year to, any
- Membership of
organisations should be disclosed where the senator, the senator’s spouse or
partner or a dependent child* is an officeholder (excluding being a patron).
- The names of any
organisations to which the senator, the senator’s spouse or partner or a
dependent child* contributes $300 or more in any single calendar year
(excluding membership subscriptions) should also be listed.
14. Any other interest where a conflict of
interest with a Senator’s public duties could foreseeably arise or be seen to
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