Overview

An associated entity of a registered political party is any entity which:

  • is controlled by a registered political party or a group of endorsed candidates, or
  • operates wholly, or to a significant extent, for the benefit or dominant purpose of promoting the party, or a group of endorsed candidates of a political party, in an election.

An associated entity of a candidate is any entity which:

  • is controlled by a candidate in relation to the election, or
  • operates wholly, or to a significant extent, for the benefit of the candidate in relation to the election, or
  • operates for the dominant purpose of promoting the candidate in the election

Under the Electoral Act 1992, a registered political party and its associated entity are treated as one entity. Associated entities should familiarise themselves with political donation caps and electoral expenditure caps that apply to their political party or candidate. Political donations received by an associated entity count towards the cap of the political party or candidate they are associated with. Electoral expenditure incurred by an associated entity counts towards its respective  political party or candidate’s expenditure caps. Associated entities must also use the State campaign account of their associated candidate or party.

Associated entities are required to fulfill real-time disclosure and periodic reporting obligations.

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Disclosing gifts and loans (associated entities)

Associated entities have obligations in relation to the disclosure of gifts and loans.

Gifts and loans of $1,000 or more, including cumulative amounts which total $1,000 or more within a six-month reporting period, must be disclosed to the ECQ via the Electronic Disclosure System (EDS). Most of the information in a disclosure return is accessible by the public.

Generally, disclosure returns must be lodged within seven business days of the gift or loan being received. This is known as real-time disclosure. In the last seven days before election day, disclosures of gifts or loans received must be lodged within 24 hours.  

All records must be kept for five years after the day that the record is made and are subject to audit procedures and compliance activities conducted by the ECQ. There are substantial penalties for not complying with record keeping responsibilities and obligations.

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Caps on political donations (associated entities)

Queensland’s electoral laws impose limitations (caps) on the amount or value of political donations which can be made to, or received by, registered political parties or State election candidates. Any political donations received by an associated entity count towards the cap of the political party or candidate they are associated with.

Any political donations received by an associated entity must be placed in the State campaign account of the political party or candidate they are associated with.

Not all gifts or loans made to political parties or State election candidates are political donations. Caps only apply to political donations.

Refer to the political party or candidate election participant page for further information about how political donation caps apply.

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Incurring electoral expenditure (associated entities)

Queensland’s electoral laws impose limitations (caps) on the amount or value of electoral expenditure which can be incurred by a registered political party or State election candidate. Any electoral expenditure incurred by an associated entity counts towards the cap of the party or candidate they are associated with.

Any electoral expenditure incurred by an associated entity must be paid for from the State campaign account of the political party or candidate they are associated with.

Refer to the political party or candidate election participant page for further information about how electoral expenditure caps apply.

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Lodging election summary returns (associated entity)

Disclosure returns provide transparency for the movement of money used to support election participants in a State election.

In addition to reporting of gifts and loans in real-time, election summary returns are required. The election summary return is a summary of electoral expenditure incurred for the purposes of an election and must include an audit certificate.

The return must be submitted within 15 weeks of the election.

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Lodging periodic returns (Associated entity)

The financial controller of an associated entity is required to lodge a disclosure return for each six-month reporting period. The return must be lodged within eight weeks of the end of the reporting period. The return can be lodged via the Electronic Disclosure System (EDS) . The return must include:

  • the total amount received by the associated entity.
  • total amount paid by the associated entity.
  • the total amount of outstanding debts, incurred by the associated entity, as at the end of the reporting period.
  • an audit certificate completed by a qualified auditor.

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