List of Recommendations

Recommendation 1

The Committee recommends that the Government amend the explanatory memorandum to improve the clarity of the sections on Electoral Matter (4AA) and Electoral Expenditure (287AB).

Recommendation 2

The Committee recommends that the proposed Transparency Register be published in a form that is easily searchable and analysed by the public.

Recommendation 3

The Committee recommends that the Electoral Commissioner not be given the authority to determine additional information for inclusion in the Transparency Register at this time and that JSCEM be consulted on future proposals to augment the register, after scoping has occurred on future proposals for improvements.

Recommendation 4

The Committee recommends that s. 314AC be amended to not require disclosure of donations to a political campaigner that is also a registered charity, when none of that donation is used on electoral expenditure.

Recommendation 5

The Committee recommends that s. 302F be redrafted to:
redefine the fault element so that the offence requires a recipient to have actual knowledge that the donor is foreign; and
introduce a minimum threshold of $100 before there is an offence under this provision.

Recommendation 6

The Committee recommends that s. 302P be amended so that a recipient is able to use other means to determine the status of a trust or foundation; including evidentiary documents such as the trust deed, or by checking registration of the trust as a charity in Australia.

Recommendation 7

The Committee recommends that s. 287AA be amended so that New Zealand citizens that are Australian residents on a Special Category visa (subclass 444) are excluded from the definition of foreign donor.

Recommendation 8

The Committee recommends that the requirement to disclose the political affiliation of senior staff on the proposed Transparency Register be removed.

Recommendation 9

Following the passage of the legislation, the Committee recommends that the Australian Electoral Commission ensure that the candidate handbook makes clear the need to keeps receipts for substantiating possible public funding claims for electoral expenditure incurred.

Recommendation 10

The Committee recommends that proposed sections 302CA and 314B are amended to ensure that Commonwealth laws would not apply to money that is directed towards non-federal campaigns (including state, territory and local government campaigns).

Recommendation 11

The Committee recommends definitional conflict regarding the term ‘political entity’ be rectified.

Recommendation 12

Subject to adjustment of the amendments to reflect the recommendations in this report, the Committee recommends that the Parliament pass the Electoral Legislation (Electoral Finance and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017, as amended.

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