A third party for an election is defined as any entity other than a candidate, registered political party or an associated entity (of a registered political party). It may include an individual.
An entity will be identified as a third party where:
- the entity publicly canvasses issues relevant to the election for consideration by electors voting in the election. These issues may not clearly support a particular political party or candidate, but rather implore electors to make an informed decision in line with current election matters.
- the entity advocates support for a particular political party or candidate and does so primarily through advertising mediums.
Third parties which incur expenditure for a political purpose more than the gift threshold amount must give a disclosure return to the commission.
A political purpose is the publication of electoral matter and/or publicly expressing views on an issue in an election whether or not this is in support of a particular political party or candidate. It also includes the making of a gift to a candidate, political party or to a person for use for a political purpose.
Disclosure returns must be given in the approved form to the commission within 15 weeks after polling day.
A third party that does not finance its campaign from gifts received is required to give a disclosure return with a delcaration to this effect; i.e. disclosing that the campaign was self funded and not financed by another entity.
Click here for the third party handbook. The commission is yet to update this handbook to reflect changes in the Electoral Reform Amendment Act 2014 assented to on 28 May 2014.