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Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Political Donations and Other Measures) Bill 2008 [2009]

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2008

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Political Donations and Other Measures) Bill 2008

 

 

(1)     Clause 2, page 2 (table item 2), omit “1 July 2008” (wherever occurring), substitute “1 July 2009”.

[commencement date]

(2)     Schedule 1, item 5, page 3 (line 25) to page 4 (line 18), omit the definition of electoral expenditure , substitute:

electoral expenditure , in relation to an election, means:

                     (a)  expenditure incurred (whether or not incurred during the election period) on:

                              (i)  the broadcasting, during the election period, of an advertisement relating to the election; or

                             (ii)  the publishing in a journal, during the election period, of an advertisement relating to the election; or

                            (iii)  the display, during the election period, at a theatre or other place of entertainment, of an advertisement relating to the election; or

                            (iv)  the production of an advertisement relating to the election, being an advertisement that is broadcast, published or displayed as mentioned in subparagraph (i), (ii) or (iii); or

                             (v)  the production of any material (not being material referred to in subparagraph (i), (ii) or (iii)) that is required under section 328 or 328A to include the name and address of the author of the material or of the person authorising the material and that is used during the election period; or

                            (vi)  the production and distribution of electoral matter that is addressed to particular persons or organisations and is distributed during the election period; or

                           (vii)  the carrying out, during the election period, of an opinion poll, or other research, relating to the election; and

                     (b)  expenditure incurred during the election period on:

                              (i)  the rent of any house,building or premises used for the primary purpose of conducting an election campaign; or

                             (ii)  paying additional staff employed, or a person contracted, for the primary purpose of conducting an election campaign; or

                            (iii)  office equipment purchased (including by way of hire-purchase), leased or hired for the primary purpose of conducting an election campaign; or

                            (iv)  the costs of running and maintaining that office equipment.

However, expenditure is not electoral expenditure if:

                     (c)  a member of either House of the Parliament incurs expenditure of a kind mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b) of this definition; and

                     (d)  the expenditure has been, or will be, met by allowances (other than those relating to remuneration), entitlements or benefits received by the member in his or her capacity as a member.

[definition of electoral expenditure]

(3)     Schedule 1, page 4 (after line 22), after item 7, insert:

7A  Subsection 287(1)

Insert:

general public activity : see subsection 306AEA(3).

[permitted anonymous gifts]

(4)     Schedule 1, page 4 (after line 29), after item 8, insert:

8A  Subsection 287(1)

Insert:

office equipment means:

                     (a)  telephones, faxes, computers, personal digital assistants, personal organisers and other equipment used, or that can be used, for the purpose of communication; and

                     (b)  photocopiers, printers, and other things used in aid of the equipment mentioned in paragraph (a).

8B  Subsection 287(1)

Insert:

permitted anonymous gift : see section 306AEA.

8C  Subsection 287(1)

Insert:

private event : see subsection 306AEA(6).

8D  Subsection 287(1)

Insert:

single claim means a claim:

                     (a)  by registered political parties that are related to each other; and

                     (b)  for electoral expenditure that covers:

                              (i)  the federal branch of the registered political party; and

                             (ii)  one or more State branches of the registered political party.

[definition of electoral expenditure; permitted anonymous gifts; claims for election funding]

(5)     Schedule 1, item 16, page 6 (line 21), omit “The”, substitute “Subject to subsection (3), the”.

[claims for election funding]

(6)     Schedule 1, item 16, page 6 (line 24), omit “$2.1894”, substitute “$2.24851”.

[rate of election funding]

(7)     Schedule 1, item 16, page 6 (line 27), omit “$2.1894”, substitute “$2.24851”.

[rate of election funding]

(8)     Schedule 1, item 16, page 6 (after line 38), at the end of section 293, add:

             (3)  If a single claim is made, the amount of election funding to which the registered political parties are entitled is the lesser of:

                     (a)  the total of the following:

                              (i)  $2.24851 for each formal first preference vote given for a candidate endorsed by any of the parties covered by the claim and in relation to whom paragraph (1)(a) or (b) is satisfied;

                             (ii)  subject to section 296, $2.24851 for each formal first preference group vote in respect of a group comprising candidates endorsed by any of the parties covered by the claim and in relation to which paragraph (1)(c) is satisfied; and

                     (b)  the amount of electoral expenditure:

                              (i)  claimed in respect of the parties covered by the claim, for all elections held that day; and

                             (ii)  accepted by the Electoral Commission under section 298C.

Note:          Subparagraph (a)(ii)—if the candidates in the group are endorsed by 2 or more registered political parties, section 296 affects the way formal first preference votes are divided for the purposes of attributing a portion of election funding to each party.

[claims for election funding]

(9)     Schedule 1, item 16, page 7 (line 13), omit “$2.1894”, substitute “$2.24851”.

[rate of election funding]

(10)   Schedule 1, item 16, page 7 (line 29), omit “$2.1894”, substitute “$2.24851”.

[rate of election funding]

(11)   Schedule 1, item 16, page 8 (line 8), omit “subparagraph 293(2)(a)(ii)”, substitute “subparagraphs 293(2)(a)(ii) and (3)(a)(ii)”.

[claims for election funding]

(12)   Schedule 1, item 16, page 8 (lines 22 and 23), omit subsection 297(1), substitute:

             (1)  To be paid an amount of election funding, a claim must be made by:

                     (a)  subject to paragraph (b), the agent of a registered political party; or

                     (b)  if the claim is a single claim—an agent of one of the registered political parties covered by the claim; or

                     (c)  the agent of a candidate or group.

[claims for election funding]

(13)   Schedule 1, item 16, page 9 (line 5), omit “A claim”, substitute “Unless subsection (1A) applies, a claim”.

[claims for election funding]

(14)   Schedule 1, item 16, page 9 (after line 9), after subsection 298(1), insert:

          (1A)  A single claim made by an agent of one of the registered political parties covered by the claim must specify electoral expenditure:

                     (a)  incurred by the parties covered by the claim, or by candidates endorsed by any of those parties, in relation to all elections held on the same day; and

                     (b)  for which election funding is sought.

[claims for election funding]

(15)   Schedule 1, item 16, page 10, (lines 32 and 33), omit paragraph 298C(2)(b), substitute:

                     (b)  if expenditure claimed is electoral expenditure—both:

                              (i)  whether the electoral expenditure was incurred; and

                             (ii)  whether the electoral expenditure has been specified in a claim made by another agent.

[claims for election funding]

(16)   Schedule 1, item 16, page 11 (line 14), after “293(2)(a)”, insert “or (3)(a)”.

[claims for election funding]

(17)   Schedule 1, item 16, page 11 (line 28), after “293(2)(a)”, insert “or (3)(a)”.

[claims for election funding]

(18)   Schedule 1, item 17, page 13 (lines 8 to 11), omit the item, substitute:

17  Subsection 299(1)

Omit all the words before paragraph (a), substitute:

             (1)  Subject to subsection (1A), if an amount of election funding is payable in respect of a candidate or candidates endorsed by a registered political party, the Electoral Commission must:

[claims for election funding]

(19)   Schedule 1, item 18, page 13 (before line 14), before subsection 299(2), insert:

          (1A)  If an amount of election funding is payable in respect of a single claim, the Electoral Commission must pay the amount to the agent who makes the single claim.

[claims for election funding]

(20)   Schedule 1, item 18, page 13 (lines 14 and 17), omit “subsection (1) does”, substitute “subsections (1) and (1A) do”.

[claims for election funding]

(21)   Schedule 1, item 20, page 15 (after line 14), after section 301, insert:

301A   References to the agent of a registered political party if single claim made

                   If a single claim has been made, a reference in sections 298D, 298E, 298F and 298G to the agent of a registered political party is taken to include a reference to the agent who makes the single claim.

[claims for election funding]

(22)   Schedule 1, item 22, page 16 (lines 12 and 13), omit the item, substitute:

22  Subsection 304(2)

Omit “15 weeks”, substitute “8 weeks”.

22A  Subsection 304(2)

Omit all the words after “in an approved form,”, substitute:

                   setting out:

                     (a)  the total amount or value of all gifts received by the person during the disclosure period for the election; and

                     (b)  for gifts other than permitted anonymous gifts received by the person during the disclosure period for the election—the number of persons who made the gifts, and the relevant details of each gift; and

                     (c)  for each general public activity or private event at which permitted anonymous gifts were received by the person during the disclosure period for the election:

                              (i)  the date and nature of the activity or event; and

                             (ii)  the total amount of permitted anonymous gifts received at the activity or event; and

                            (iii)  for a private event in relation to which an excess was returned, or the amount of an excess was paid to the Commonwealth, as mentioned in paragraph 306AEA(4)(d)—the amount of the excess, and a statement to the effect that the excess was so returned or so paid to the Commonwealth.

22B  Subsection 304(3)

Omit “15 weeks”, substitute “8 weeks”.

22C  Subsection 304(3)

Omit all the words after “in an approved form,”, substitute:

                   setting out:

                     (a)  the total amount or value of all gifts received by the group during the disclosure period for the election; and

                     (b)  for gifts other than permitted anonymous gifts received by the group during the disclosure period for the election—the number of persons who made the gifts, and the relevant details of each gift; and

                     (c)  for each general public activity or private event at which permitted anonymous gifts were received by the group during the disclosure period for the election:

                              (i)  the date and nature of the activity or event; and

                             (ii)  the total amount of permitted anonymous gifts received at the activity or event; and

                            (iii)  for a private event in relation to which an excess was returned, or the amount of an excess was paid to the Commonwealth, as mentioned in paragraph 306AEA(4)(d)—the amount of the excess, and a statement to the effect that the excess was so returned or so paid to the Commonwealth.

22D  Subsection 304(4)

Omit “the purposes of this section”, substitute “the purposes of paragraphs (2)(b) and (3)(b)”.

[permitted anonymous gifts]

(23)   Schedule 1, item 40, page 28 (after line 18), after section 306AE, insert:

306AEA   Meaning of permitted anonymous gift

Anonymous gifts made at general public activities

             (1)  An anonymous gift received by or on behalf of a person or entity (the recipient ) is a permitted anonymous gift if:

                     (a)  the amount of the gift is $50 or less; and

                     (b)  the gift is received at a general public activity (see subsection (3)); and

                     (c)  a person involved in the organisation of the activity makes a record, for the purpose of this section, of:

                              (i)  the date, location and nature of the activity; and

                             (ii)  the names and addresses of the people involved in the collection or receipt of gifts at the activity; and

                            (iii)  the total amount of anonymous gifts received by or on behalf of the recipient at the activity.

             (2)  If:

                     (a)  a particular person makes 2 or more gifts for the recipient at the activity; and

                     (b)  a person involved in the collection or receipt of gifts at the activity knows that the gifts are from the same person, and that the total of the gifts exceeds $50;

then, despite subsection (1), so much of those gifts as equals the excess is not a permitted anonymous gift .

             (3)  A general public activity is an activity that is conducted in a public place or in some other place to which members of the public have ready access.

Note:          General public activities include, for example, street stalls and stalls at fetes.

Anonymous gifts made at private events

             (4)  An anonymous gift received by or on behalf of a person or entity (the recipient ) is a permitted anonymous gift if:

                     (a)  the amount of the gift is $50 or less; and

                     (b)  the gift is received at a private event (see subsection (6)); and

                     (c)  a person involved in the organisation of the event makes a record, for the purpose of this section, of:

                              (i)  the date, location and nature of the event; and

                             (ii)  the number of people who attended the event; and

                            (iii)  the names and addresses of the people involved in the collection or receipt of gifts at the event; and

                            (iv)  the total amount of anonymous gifts received by or on behalf of the recipient at the event; and

                     (d)  if the total amount of anonymous gifts received by or on behalf of the recipient at the event exceeds the amount worked out by multiplying $50 by the number of people who attend the event—within 6 weeks of the event:

                              (i)  the excess is returned; or

                             (ii)  if it is not possible or practicable to return the excess—the amount of the excess is paid to the Commonwealth.

             (5)  If:

                     (a)  a particular person makes 2 or more gifts for the recipient at the event; and

                     (b)  a person involved in the collection or receipt of gifts at the event knows that the gifts are from the same person, and that the total of the gifts exceeds $50;

then, despite subsection (4), so much of those gifts as equals the excess is not a permitted anonymous gift .

             (6)  A private event is a function, meeting or other event that is not a general public activity.

Section only applies to gifts of money

             (7)  This section only applies in relation to gifts of money.

[permitted anonymous gifts]

(24)   Schedule 1, item 40, page 28 (line 29), after “anonymous gift”, insert “that is not a permitted anonymous gift”.

[permitted anonymous gifts]

(25)   Schedule 1, item 40, page 30 (line 27), at the end of subsection 306AH(1), add:

             ; and (c)  the anonymous gift is not a permitted anonymous gift.

[permitted anonymous gifts]

(26)   Schedule 1, item 40, page 32 (after line 10), after paragraph 306AI(1)(b), insert:

                   (ba)  the anonymous gift is not a permitted anonymous gift; and

[permitted anonymous gifts]

(27)   Schedule 1, item 40, page 32 (line 21), at the end of subsection 306AI(2), add:

             ; and (c)  the anonymous gift is not a permitted anonymous gift.

[permitted anonymous gifts]

(28)   Schedule 1, page 33 (after line 14), after item 48, insert:

48A  Subsection 309(1A)

After “electoral expenditure”, insert “, of a kind mentioned in paragraph (a) of the definition of that expression,”.

[definition of electoral expenditure]

(29)   Schedule 1, item 49, page 33 (lines 15 and 16), omit the item, substitute:

49  Subsection 309(2)

Omit “15 weeks”, substitute “8 weeks”.

49A  Subsection 309(2)

After “electoral expenditure”, insert “, of a kind mentioned in paragraph (a) of the definition of that expression,”.

49B  Subsection 309(3)

Omit “15 weeks”, substitute “8 weeks”.

49C  Subsection 309(3)

After “electoral expenditure”, insert “, of a kind mentioned in paragraph (a) of the definition of that expression,”.

[definition of electoral expenditure]

(30)   Schedule 1, page 35 (after line 12), after item 59, insert:

59A  At the end of section 314AC

Add:

             (4)  If the total amount received by, or on behalf of, the party during a reporting period includes one or more permitted anonymous gifts, the return must include, for each general public activity or private event at which the gifts were received:

                     (a)  the date and nature of the activity or event; and

                     (b)  the total amount of permitted anonymous gifts received at the activity or event; and

                     (c)  for a private event in relation to which an excess was returned, or the amount of an excess was paid to the Commonwealth, as mentioned in paragraph 306AEA(4)(d)—the amount of the excess, and a statement to the effect that the excess was so returned or so paid to the Commonwealth.

[permitted anonymous gifts]

(31)   Schedule 1, item 74, page 37 (lines 5 to 8), omit the item, substitute:

74  Paragraph 314AEC(1)(c)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (c)  either or both of the following applies:

                              (i)  there is at least one major donor in relation to the person and the reporting period;

                             (ii)  the gifts referred to in paragraph (b) include one or more permitted anonymous gifts.

[permitted anonymous gifts]

(32)   Schedule 1, items 77 and 78, page 37 (lines 18 to 23), omit the items, substitute:

77  Subsection 314AEC(2)

Omit all the words from and including “The person” to and including “paragraph (1)(b):”, substitute:

                   If there is at least one major donor in relation to the person and the reporting period, the return for the reporting period must include the following details in relation to each gift referred to in paragraph (1)(b) that was made by a major donor:

[permitted anonymous gifts]

(33)   Schedule 1, page 37 (after line 25), after item 79, insert:

79A  After subsection 314AEC(2)

Insert:

          (2A)  If the gifts referred to in paragraph (1)(b) include one or more permitted anonymous gifts, the return for the reporting period must include, for each general public activity or private event at which the gifts were received:

                     (a)  the date and nature of the activity or event; and

                     (b)  the total amount of permitted anonymous gifts received at the activity or event; and

                     (c)  the total amount of permitted anonymous gifts received at the activity or event that the person used for a purpose referred to in paragraph (1)(b); and

                     (d)  for a private event in relation to which an excess was returned, or the amount of an excess was paid to the Commonwealth, as mentioned in paragraph 306AEA(4)(d)—the amount of the excess, and a statement to the effect that the excess was so returned or so paid to the Commonwealth.

[permitted anonymous gifts]

(34)   Schedule 1, item 82, page 39 (after line 23), after subsection 315(4B), insert:

Making a section 306AEA record that is false or misleading

          (4C)  A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person makes a record in relation to an activity or event; and

                     (b)  the record purports to be made for the purpose of section 306AEA; and

                     (c)  the person knows that:

                              (i)  the record is false or misleading in a material particular; or

                             (ii)  the record omits a matter or thing without which the record is misleading in a material particular.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 12 months or 120 penalty units, or both.

[permitted anonymous gifts]

(35)   Schedule 1, item 100, page 47 (lines 6 to 8), omit the item, substitute:

100  Subsection 321(1) (definition of relevant amount )

Repeal the definition, substitute:

relevant amount means the amount specified in:

                     (a)  subparagraphs 293(2)(a)(i) and (ii) and 293(3)(a)(i) and (ii); and

                     (b)  paragraphs 294(2)(a) and 295(2)(a).

[claims for election funding]

(36)   Schedule 1, item 101, page 47 (line 10), omit “1 January 2009”, substitute “1 July 2009”.

[rate of election funding]

(37)   Schedule 1, item 104, page 48 (line 4), omit “ 1 July 2008 ”, substitute “ 1 July 2009 ”.

[commencement date]

(38)   Schedule 1, item 104, page 48 (line 6), omit “1 July 2008”, substitute “1 July 2009”.

[commencement date]

(39)   Schedule 1, item 105, page 48 (line 10), omit “ 1 July 2008 ”, substitute “ 1 July 2009 ”.

[commencement date]

(40)   Schedule 1, item 105, page 48 (line 12), omit “1 July 2008”, substitute “1 July 2009”.

[commencement date]

(41)   Schedule 1, item 106, page 48 (line 14), omit “ 1 July 2008 ”, substitute “ 1 July 2009 ”.

[commencement date]

(42)   Schedule 1, item 106, page 48 (line 15), before “The”, insert “(1)”.

[rate of election funding]

(43)   Schedule 1, item 106, page 48 (lines 16 and 17), omit “1 July 2008”, substitute “1 July 2009”.

[commencement date]

(44)   Schedule 1, item 106, page 48 (line 18), omit paragraph (a), substitute:

                     (a)  items 5 to 7;

                    (aa)  items 8 and 8A;

                   (ab)  items 8D and 9;

[permitted anonymous gifts]

(45)   Schedule 1, item 106, page 48 (line 22), omit “and 49”, substitute “to 49C”.

[definition of electoral expenditure]

(46)   Schedule 1, item 106, page 48 (after line 24), at the end of the item, add:

(2)        The amount specified in:

                     (a)  subparagraphs 293(2)(a)(i) and (ii) and 293(3)(a)(i) and (ii) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (as inserted by item 16 of this Schedule); and

                     (b)  paragraphs 294(2)(a) and 295(2)(a) of that Act (as inserted by that item);

must be indexed, to have effect on and from 1 July 2009, in accordance with section 321 of that Act (as amended by items 100 and 101 of this Schedule), before the amendments mentioned in subitem (1) apply in relation to elections the writs for which are issued on or after 1 July 2009.

[rate of election funding]

(47)   Schedule 1, item 107, page 48 (line 26), omit “ 1 July 2008 ”, substitute “ 1 July 2009 ”.

[commencement date]

(48)   Schedule 1, item 107, page 48 (line 27), before “The”, insert “(1)”.

[permitted anonymous gifts]

(49)   Schedule 1, item 107, page 48 (line 29), omit “1 July 2008”, substitute “1 July 2009”.

[commencement date]

(50)   Schedule 1, item 107, page 48 (before line 30), before paragraph (a), insert:

                    (aa)  item 7A;

                   (ab)  items 8B and 8C;

[permitted anonymous gifts]

(51)   Schedule 1, item 107, page 48 (after line 32), at the end of the item, add:

(2)       To avoid doubt, a gift made before 1 July 2009 is not a permitted anonymous gift (including for the purpose of section 314AEC of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (as amended by this Schedule)).

[permitted anonymous gifts]

(52)   Schedule 1, item 108, page 49 (line 2), omit “ 1 July 2008 ”, substitute “ 1 July 2009 ”.

[commencement date]

(53)   Schedule 1, item 108, page 49 (line 4), omit “1 July 2008”, substitute “1 July 2009”.

[commencement date]

(54)   Schedule 1, item 109, page 49 (line 10), omit “ 1 July 2008 ”, substitute “ 1 July 2009 ”.

[commencement date]

(55)   Schedule 1, item 109, page 49 (line 12), omit “1 July 2008”, substitute “1 July 2009”.

[commencement date]

(56)   Schedule 1, item 110, page 49 (line 14), omit “1 July 2008”, substitute “1 July 2009”.

[commencement date]

(57)   Schedule 1, item 110, page 49 (lines 15 and 16), omit “after that commencement”, substitute “on and after that day”.

[technical correction]