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Monday, 10 October 2005
Page: 172


Mr Kelvin Thomson asked the Minister Representing the Special Minister of State, in writing, on 5 September 2005:

(1)   Has Woodhaven Investments been instructed by the Electoral Commissioner to submit an electoral return to disclose political donations it provided to Ms Lucille Bailie, a Liberal Party candidate in last year’s ACT Legislative Assembly election.

(2)   Has Nexus Pty Ltd been instructed by the Electoral Commission to submit an electoral return to disclose political donations it provided to Ms Lucille Bailie, a Liberal Party candidate in last year’s ACT Legislative Assembly election.

(3)   What are the penalties for companies which fail to disclose political donations in accordance with the Electoral Act.

(4)   What penalties will be imposed on Woodhaven Investments and Nexus Pty Ltd if they have failed to disclose political donations in accordance with the Electoral Act.


Mr Abbott (Minister for Health and Ageing) —The Special Minister of State advises that the following answer has been provided to him by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC):

(1)   and (2) No. The Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Electoral Act) requires disclosure of donations to candidates in federal elections only. It does not cover donations made to candidates in State or Territory elections. However, where donations totalling $1500 or more are made in a financial year to a political party registered under the Electoral Act, the donor is required to lodge an annual financial disclosure return with the AEC. Donor annual financial disclosure returns for the 2004/05 financial year must be lodged with the AEC by 17 November 2005 and become available for public inspection on 1 February 2006.

(3)   The maximum penalty applicable for failure to lodge a financial disclosure return is $5000 for a registered political party and $1000 for others.

(4)   Any such offences under the Electoral Act must be prosecuted through the courts and it is for the court to determine the level of penalty, if any, to be imposed.