Funding and Disclosure

Local government (council) elections 


State government (Queensland) elections 

Election funding - registered political parties 

Election funding - candidates 

When and how claims are made 

Disclosure - registered political parties 

Disclosure - associated entities 

Disclosure - candidates 

Disclosure - third parties and entities making gifts (donors)  

Disclosure - broadcasters 

Disclosure - publishers 

Auditing of returns 

Indexation 

Public inspection of returns 

Funding and disclosure handbooks 

Definitions 

Funding and disclosure forms 

Local government (council) elections

The Local Government Electoral Act 2011 (linked to the Queensland Legislation website) governs the financial obligations for candidates and third parties who take part in Local Government elections.  The electoral commission publishes a handbook to assist candidates and third parties.

Nomination deposits are refunded to eligible candidates, those who poll 4% or more of the vote or are elected, after the end of the disclosure period (30 days after polling day) and once their disclosure return is received by the electoral commission. 

Candidates at a Local Government election and entities or persons with an obligation to disclose as a third party for an election (this term includes persons or entities that gave gifts of $200 or  more to a candidate at that election) have an obligation to lodge a disclosure return with the electoral commission within 15 weeks after polling day.  Click here for a Local Government candidate's disclosure form.  (This form can be completed on line but must be printed for signature and lodgement)  Click here for a Local Government third party disclosure form.

There is no specific time frame within which the electoral commission must make Local Government election disclosures available for inspection.  Disclosures are being published progressively after they are received.  Click here to access the disclosure returns posted.  Candidates who are elected or poll more than 4% of the vote are entitled to a refund of their nomination deposits.  Refunds can be processed at the end of the disclosure period once a disclosure return is given to the commission.  Use Form QLG04 Registration of EFT Details for Nomination Refund.

Return to top of page 

State (Queensland) elections

The Electoral Act 1992 provides for financial disclosure by candidates, third parties and registered political parties—

  • Candidates and registered political parties may apply to the electoral commission for reimbursement of electoral expenditure

Return to top of page 

FUNDING

Election Funding

Registered Political Parties

A registered political party may claim election funding for all elections held on the same day if, in relation to a candidate who the party endorses in an election, the total number of formal first preference votes given for the candidate is at least 6% of the total number of formal first preference votes made in the election.

Election funding is calculated as reimbursement of actual electoral expenditure to a maximum entitlement being the product of formal first preference votes and the relevant election funding amount.

Return to top of page 

Candidates

A candidate may claim election funding if their formal first preference vote is at least 6% of the total formal first preference vote in the election.

Election funding is calculated as reimbursement of actual electoral expenditure to a maximum entitlement being the product of formal first preference votes and the relevant election funding amount.

Candidates' Funding and Disclosure Handbook is available from the commission.

Return to top of page 

When and how claims are made

To be paid election funding, agents of candidates and registered political parties must submit a claim in the approved form to the electoral commission.  Claims must state all electoral expenditure for which election funding is sought and be given to the commission within 20 weeks after the polling day.

Registered political parties must use QFD14 Claim for Payment of Election Funding.  Candidates may opt to use the same form or combine their claim with QFD09 Return by a Candidate following an Election and Claim for Election Funding.  Candidates must give the commission a return even if they opt to use a separate claim form.  These forms are made available after an election result is final (QFD14) and at the end of the election disclosure period (QFD09).

An EFT Details Registration form for payment to a nominated account may be completed and given to the electoral commission.

Return to top of page 

DISCLOSURE

Registered Political Parties

Agents of registered political parties must give the electoral commission an audited disclosure return for each financial year.  These returns must be given to the commission within 16 weeks after the end of a financial year; i.e. by 20 October.  A certified copy of the return that the party has given the Australian Electoral Commission to fulfil its obligations pursuant to the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 is acceptable, however it must be accompanied by an audit certificate.

Audited returns must be in the approved form and state—

  • the total amount received by or for the party during the reporting period together with particulars of sums more than the gift threshold amount
  • the total amount paid by or for the party during the reporting period
  • the total outstanding amount at the end of the reporting period of all debts incurred by or for the party together with particulars of sums more than the gift threshold amount

Return to top of page 

Associated Entities

Financial controllers of associated entities must give the electoral commissison an audited disclosure return for each financial year within 16 weeks after the end of a financial year; i.e. by 20 October.

Audited returns must be in the approved form and state—

  • the total amount received by or for the entity during the reporting period together with particulars of sums more than the gift threshold amount
  • the total amount paid by or for the entity during the reporting period
  • the total outstanding amount at the end of the reporting period of all debts incurred by or for the entity together with particulars of sums more than the gift threshold amount

Return to top of page 

Third Parties and Entities which make Gifts (Donors)

Entities which make gifts, including fundraising contributions and gifts in kind, of more than the gift threshold amount to the same registered political party (includes associated entities and related political parties) must give the electoral commission a return within 20 weeks after the end of the financial year disclosing all gifts made to a registered political party during the reporting period.

Reporting periods are each financial year.

A third party for a State election is any entity other than a candidate, registered political party or an associated entity (of a registered political party).  It may be an organisation or an individual.

Third parties incurring expenditure for a political purpose at an election, including entities making gifts to candidates, must give the commission a return within 15 weeks after polling day disclosing gifts more than the gift threshold amount.

Return to top of page 

Candidates

Agents of candidates, or the candidate if there is no agent appointed, must within 15 weeks after polling day give the electoral commission an audited return in the approved form stating—

  • the total amount of all gifts, the number of persons who made the gifts together with particulars of sums more than the gift threshold amount made during the candidate's disclosure period
  • all loans more than the gift threshold amount received from other than a financial institution during the candidate's disclosure period
  • all electoral expenditure for the election

Return to top of page 

Broadcasters

Each broadcaster which for an election broadcasts an advertisement relating to the election with the authority of a participant in the election must within 8 weeks after polling day give the electoral commission a return in the approved form stating—

  • the broadcasting service as part of which the advertisement was broadcast
  • the person at whose request the advertisement was broadcast
  • the participant in the election with whose authority the advertisement was broadcast
  • the starting date on which and the times between which the advertisement was broadcast
  • whether on each occasion the advertisement was broadcast, a charge was made and stating the amount of the charge

Return to top of page 

Publishers

Each publisher of a journal which for an election publishes an advertisement relating to the election with the authority of a participant in the election must within 8 weeks after polling day give the electoral commission a return in the approved form stating—

  • the journal in which the advertisement was published
  • the person at whose request the advertisement was published
  • the participant in the election with whose authority the advertisement was published
  • the date on which the advertisement was published
  • the page in the journal on which the advertisement was published and the space in the journal occupied by the advertisement
  • whether on each occasion the advertisement was published, a charge was made and stating the amount of the charge

Publishers are not required to give a return if the total charge made by the publisher for the publication of advertising relating to an election does not exceed $1,000.

Return to top of page 

Auditing of Returns

Disclosure returns by registered political parties, associated entities, candidates and third parties must be accompanied by an auditor’s certificate.

An auditor cannot be, or have ever been, a member of a political party and must satisfy one of the following qualification or experience criteria—

  • registration as an auditor under the Corporations Act
  • membership of CPA Australia and entitled to use the letters CPA or FCPA 
  • membership of the Institute of Public Accountants and entitled to use the letters MPA or FIPA 
  • membership of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and entitled to use the letters CA or FCA 

The electoral commission may also conduct its own reviews and investigations related to returns lodged and entitlements claimed under the Electoral Act 1992.

Return to top of page 

INDEXATION OF FUNDING AND DISCLOSURE AMOUNTS

Some amounts that form part of the State's funding and disclosure scheme are indexed annually on 1 July.  These include the gift threshold amount and the election funding amounts applicable to candidates and registered political  parties.  A policy development fund is fixed by regulation.

Amounts applicable to the 2014/15 financial year are:

  • gift threshold amount    $12,800 
  • election funding amount - candidate    $1.495 
  • election funding amount - party    $2.991 
  • policy development fund - $3m.    

Return to top of page 

PUBLIC INSPECTION OF RETURNS

Returns for a financial year are available for public inspection at the commission’s office and on this website from 1 December after the end of the financial year.

All election returns are available for public inspection at the commission’s office and on this website 24 weeks after polling day.

Return to top of page 

HANDBOOKS

These handbooks have been updated to reflect legislative changes in the Electoral Reform Amendment Act 2014 assented to on 28 May 2014

Registered Officers and Agents of Registered Political Parties 

Candidates and their Agents 

These handbooks are yet to be updated to reflect legislative changes in the Electoral Reform Amendment Act 2014 assented to on 28 May 2014

Third Parties 

Registration of Political Parties 

 

Return to top of page 

DEFINITIONS

A fundraising contribution means an amount paid by a person as a contribution, entry fee or other payment to entitle that person or another person to participate in or otherwise obtain a benefit from a fundraising venture or function.  A fundraising contribution of $200 or less is not considered a gift.  If a fundraising contribution is more than $200 the first $200 of the fundraising contribution is not considered to be a gift.  Section 200 of the Act contains an expanded description of this term.

A gift means a disposition of property made by a person to someone else; otherwise than by will, being a disposition made without consideration in money or money’s worth or with inadequate consideration.  A gift includes the provision of a service other than volunteer labour for no consideration or for inadequate consideration and uncharged interest on a loan. Section 201 of the Act contains an expanded description of this term.

The gift threshold amount, for the amount or value of a gift or loan, is the dollar amount applying for a gift under the Commonwealth Electoral Act, section 304(5)(b)(ii), as indexed under section 321A of that Act.

Return to top of page 

DISCLOSURE FORMS

A list of downloadable financial disclosure forms is listed below.

The commission is in the process of updating these forms to reflect legislative changes assented to on 28 May 2014. 

QFD01    Disclosure Return - Registered Political Party 

QFD02    Disclosure Return - Associated Entity  

QFD03A Disclosure of Gifts to Registered Political Parties - Organisations 

QFD03B Disclosure of Gifts to Registered Political Parties - Individuals 

QFD04    Notice of Appointment of an Agent by a Candidate 

QFD07    Disclosure Return - Third Parties (Redcliffe by-election 22 February 2014) 

QFD09    Disclosure Return - Candidates (Redcliffe by-election 22 February 2014) 

QFD15    Payment Direction by an Agent of a Candidate (Redcliffe by-election 22 February 2014) 

QFD16    Registration of EFT Details for Election Funding (Redcliffe by-election 22 February 2014) 

QFD17    Registration of EFT Details for Policy Development Payment 

QFD19    Electoral Expenditure Disclosure Return - Registered Political Party (Redcliffe by-election 22 February 2014) 

QFD20    Disclosure Return - Donor to Candidate (Recliffe by-election 22 February 2014) 

QFD21    Disclosure Return - Publishers (Redcliffe by-election 22 February 2014) 

QFD22    Disclosure Return - Broadcasters (Redcliffe by-election 22 February 2014) 

QFD25    Request to Amend a Return or Claim 

QLG01    Disclosure Return for a Candidate or Group of Candidates (Local Government elections 28 April 2012) 

QLG02    Disclosure Return for a Third Party/Donor (Local Government elections 28 April 2012)  

QLG04    Registration of EFT Details for Nomination Refund  

Return to top of page