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Schedule 1—Electoral funding and disclosure reform

Schedule 1 Electoral funding and disclosure reform

Part 1 Registration of political campaigners, third party campaigners and associated entities

Division 1—Amendments

Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918

1  Subsection 4(1)

Insert:

civil penalty order has the meaning given by subsection 82(4) of the Regulatory Powers Act.

2  Subsection 287(1)

Insert:

allowable amount of a person or entity for a financial year means any amount received by the person or entity, or to which the person or entity has access, during the financial year except:

                     (a)  any gifts received from another person or entity that is not an allowable donor; and

                     (b)  any loan to which the person or entity has access.

Note:          Certain gifts may be taken to be made by allowable donors (see subsection (9)).

allowable donor has the meaning given by section 287AA.

3  Subsection 287(1) (definition of associated entity )

Repeal the definition, substitute:

associated entity means an entity that is registered as an associated entity under section 287L.

Note:          See section 287H for when an entity is required to be registered as an associated entity.

4  Subsection 287(1)

Insert:

Australian resident means a person who holds a permanent visa under the Migration Act 1958 .

credit card means:

                     (a)  any article of a kind commonly known as a credit card; or

                     (b)  any similar article intended for use in obtaining cash, goods or services on credit;

and includes any article of a kind that persons carrying on business commonly issue to their customers or prospective customers for use in obtaining goods or services from those persons on credit.

disclosure threshold means $13,500.

Note:          This amount is indexed under section 321A.

foreign public enterprise has the meaning given by section 70.1 of the Criminal Code .

5  Subsection 287(1) (definition of gift )

Omit “otherwise than by will,”.

6  Subsection 287(1) (at the end of the definition of gift )

Add:

               ; or (c)  any visit, experience or activity provided for the purposes of a political exchange program.

7  Subsection 287(1)

Insert:

head office of an entity means the place of business where central management and control of the entity are exercised.

loan means any of the following:

                     (a)  an advance of money;

                     (b)  a provision of credit or any other form of financial accommodation;

                     (c)  a payment of an amount for, on account of, on behalf of or at the request of, a person or entity, if there is an express or implied obligation to repay the amount;

                     (d)  a transaction (whatever its terms or form) which in substance effects a loan of money.

Note:          For loans on credit cards, see subsection (10).

political campaigner means a person or entity that is registered as a political campaigner under section 287L.

Note 1:       See also subsection (8) and section 287C (political campaigners and third party campaigners that have branches or are not incorporated).

Note 2:       See section 287F for when a person or entity is required to be registered as a political campaigner.

political entity means any of the following:

                     (a)  a registered political party;

                     (b)  a State branch of a registered political party;

                     (c)  a candidate in an election (including a by-election);

                     (d)  a member of a group.

political expenditure means expenditure incurred for one or more political purposes.

Note:          A person or entity might be taken to have incurred political expenditure in a financial year if the person or entity was required to be registered as a political campaigner or third party campaigner in a previous financial year but was not so registered (see section 287J).

political purpose means any of the following purposes:

                     (a)  the public expression by any means of views on a political party, a candidate in an election or a member of the House of Representatives or the Senate;

                     (b)  the public expression by any means of views on an issue that is, or is likely to be, before electors in an election (whether or not a writ has been issued for the election);

                     (c)  the communicating of any electoral matter (not being matter referred to in paragraph (a) or (b)) for which particulars are required to be notified under section 321D;

                     (d)  the broadcast of political matter (not being matter referred to in paragraph (c)) in relation to which particulars are required to be announced under subclause 4(2) of Schedule 2 to the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 ;

                     (e)  the carrying out of an opinion poll, or other research, relating to an election or the voting intentions of electors;

except if:

                      (f)  the sole or predominant purpose of the expression of the views, or the communication, broadcast or research, is the reporting of news, the presenting of current affairs or any editorial content in news media; or

                     (g)  the expression of the views, or the communication, broadcast or research, is solely for genuine satirical, academic or artistic purposes.

Register of Associated Entities means the Register of that name established and maintained under section 287N.

Register of Political Campaigners means the Register of that name established and maintained under section 287N.

Register of Third Party Campaigners means the Register of that name established and maintained under section 287N.

senior staff of a person or entity means:

                     (a)  for a person or entity with directors—the directors of the person or entity; or

                     (b)  otherwise—any person who makes or participates in making decisions that affect the whole or a substantial part of the operations of the person or entity.

third party campaigner means a person or entity that is registered as a third party campaigner under section 287L.

Note 1:       See also subsection (8) and section 287C (political campaigners and third party campaigners that have branches or are not incorporated).

Note 2:       See section 287G for when a person or entity is required to be registered as a third party campaigner.

8  At the end of section 287

Add:

Branches of political campaigners and third party campaigners

             (8)  A political campaigner or third party campaigner that has branches is, for the purposes of this Part, to be treated as a single political campaigner or third party campaigner.

Note:          See also section 287C (political campaigners and third party campaigners that are not incorporated).

Certain gifts taken to be made by allowable donors

             (9)  For the purposes of this Part, in working out a person or entity’s allowable amount for a financial year, a gift is taken to have been made by an allowable donor to the person or entity during the financial year if:

                     (a)  all of the following apply:

                              (i)  the gift was made to the person or entity during the financial year by a donor who is not an allowable donor;

                             (ii)  the person or entity obtained appropriate donor information in accordance with section 302P establishing that the donor was an allowable donor;

                            (iii)  the person did not, at any time during the period of 6 weeks after receiving the gift, know, or have reasonable grounds to believe, that the donor was not an allowable donor; or

                     (b)  the amount or value of the gift, and of all other gifts previously made by the donor to the person or entity during the financial year, is less than $250.

Loans on credit cards

           (10)  For the purposes of this Part, if credit is provided on a credit card in respect of card transactions, the credit is to be treated as a separate loan for each transaction.

9  After section 287

Insert:

287AA   Meaning of allowable donor

             (1)  A person or entity is an allowable donor if:

                     (a)  for an individual who makes a gift—the individual:

                              (i)  is an elector; or

                             (ii)  is an Australian citizen; or

                            (iii)  is an Australian resident, unless a determination is in force under subsection (2) determining that Australian residents are not allowable donors; or

                     (b)  for an entity that makes a gift:

                              (i)  the entity is incorporated in Australia; or

                             (ii)  for an entity that is not incorporated—the entity’s head office or principal place of activity is in Australia; or

                     (c)  for a person or entity that is a trustee of an unincorporated trust fund or unincorporated foundation, out of which a gift is made—the person or entity is an allowable donor within the meaning of paragraph (a), (b) or (d); or

                     (d)  the person or entity is in a class of persons or entities prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this paragraph.

Australian residents

             (2)  For the purposes of subparagraph (1)(a)(iii), the Minister may, by legislative instrument, determine that Australian residents are not allowable donors.

Foreign political entities

             (3)  Despite subsection (1), an entity is not an allowable donor if the entity is:

                     (a)  a body politic of a foreign country; or

                     (b)  a body politic of a part of a foreign country; or

                     (c)  a part of a body politic mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b); or

                     (d)  a foreign public enterprise.

10  At the end of Division 1 of Part XX

Add:

287C   Political campaigners and third party campaigners that are not incorporated

                   For the purposes of this Act and the Regulatory Powers Act:

                     (a)  expenditure is taken to be incurred by or with the authority of an entity that is not a legal person if the expenditure is incurred by or with the authority of any member, agent or officer (however described) of the entity who, acting in his or her actual or apparent authority, incurred the expenditure; and

                     (b)  a contravention of this Part that would otherwise have been committed by a political campaigner or a third party campaigner that is not a legal person is taken to have been committed by the financial controller of the campaigner.

Note:          See also subsection 287(8) (political campaigners and third party campaigners that have branches).

11  After Division 1 of Part XX

Insert:

Division 1A Registration of political campaigners, third party campaigners and associated entities

Subdivision A Simplified outline of this Division

287D   Simplified outline of this Division

A political campaigner, third party campaigner or associated entity must be registered as such under this Division. A person may be liable to a civil penalty if the person incurs political expenditure without being appropriately registered.

Whether a person or entity is a political campaigner or third party campaigner depends on the amount of political expenditure that the campaigner incurs (which generally must be at least more than the disclosure threshold in a particular financial year).

Associated entities are entities that have some kind of connection with registered political parties (such as being controlled by or operating for the benefit of a registered political party).

The Electoral Commissioner maintains the Register of Political Campaigners, the Register of Third Party Campaigners and the Register of Associated Entities under this Division.

287E   Object of this Division

                   The object of this Division is to provide for the registration of certain persons or entities that are not registered political parties or candidates in elections in order to support the transparency of:

                     (a)  the scheme established by Division 3A relating to donations; and

                     (b)  the schemes established by Divisions 4, 5 and 5A relating to the disclosure of donations or electoral expenditure, and annual returns; and

                     (c)  the scheme established by Part XXA in relation to the authorisation of electoral matter.

Subdivision B Requirement to register as a political campaigner, third party campaigner or associated entity

287F   Requirement to register as a political campaigner

             (1)  A person or entity (except a political entity or a member of the House of Representatives or the Senate) must be registered for a financial year as a political campaigner, in accordance with subsection (2), if:

                     (a)  the amount of political expenditure incurred by or with the authority of the person or entity during that or any one of the previous 3 financial years is $100,000 or more; or

                     (b)  the amount of political expenditure incurred by or with the authority of the person or entity:

                              (i)  during that financial year is $50,000 or more; and

                             (ii)  during the previous financial year was at least 50% of the person or entity’s allowable amount for that year.

Note:          A person or entity might be taken to have incurred political expenditure in a financial year if the person or entity was required to be registered as a political campaigner or third party campaigner for a previous financial year but was not so registered (see section 287J).

             (2)  The person or entity must be registered before the end of 28 days after becoming required to be registered.

             (3)  A person or entity that is required to be registered under subsection (1) for a financial year must not incur further political expenditure in that financial year if the person or entity is not registered as a political campaigner.

Note:          The financial controller of an entity may contravene this subsection if the entity is not a legal person (see section 287C).

Civil penalty:          240 penalty units.

             (4)  The person or entity commits a separate contravention of subsection (3) in respect of each day in the period:

                     (a)  beginning on the day the person or entity first contravenes the subsection; and

                     (b)  ending on the day the person or entity ceases to contravene the subsection (including the day a civil penalty order is made in relation to any of the contraventions or any later day).

287G   Requirement to register as a third party campaigner

             (1)  A person or entity (except a political entity or a member of the House of Representatives or the Senate) must be registered for a financial year as a third party campaigner, in accordance with subsection (2), if:

                     (a)  the amount of political expenditure incurred by or with the authority of the person or entity during that financial year is more than the disclosure threshold; and

                     (b)  the person or entity is not required to be registered as a political campaigner under section 287F for that financial year; and

                     (c)  the person or entity is not registered as a political campaigner.

Note:          A person or entity might be taken to have incurred political expenditure in a financial year if the person or entity was required to be registered as a political campaigner or third party campaigner for a previous financial year but was not so registered (see section 287J).

             (2)  The person or entity must be registered before the end of 28 days after becoming required to be registered.

             (3)  A person or entity that is required to be registered under subsection (1) for a financial year must not incur further political expenditure in that financial year if the person or entity is not registered as a third party campaigner.

Note:          The financial controller of an entity may contravene this subsection if the entity is not a legal person (see section 287C).

Civil penalty:          120 penalty units.

             (4)  The person or entity commits a separate contravention of subsection (3) in respect of each day in the period:

                     (a)  beginning on the day the person or entity first contravenes the subsection; and

                     (b)  ending on the day the person or entity ceases to contravene the subsection (including the day a civil penalty order is made in relation to any of the contraventions or any later day).

287H   Requirement to register as an associated entity

             (1)  An entity (except a registered political party or a State branch of a registered political party) must be registered for a financial year as an associated entity, in accordance with subsection (2), if any of the following apply in that year:

                     (a)  the entity is controlled by one or more registered political parties;

                     (b)  the entity operates wholly, or to a significant extent, for the benefit of one or more registered political parties (see also subsection (5));

                     (c)  the entity is a financial member of a registered political party;

                     (d)  another person is a financial member of a registered political party on behalf of the entity;

                     (e)  the entity has voting rights in a registered political party;

                      (f)  another person has voting rights in a registered political party on behalf of the entity.

             (2)  The entity must be registered before the end of 28 days after becoming required to be registered.

             (3)  An entity that is required to be registered under subsection (1) for a financial year must not incur any political expenditure in that financial year, after becoming required to be so registered, if the entity is not registered as an associated entity.

Note:          The financial controller of the entity may contravene this subsection if the entity is not a legal person (see section 287C).

Civil penalty:          240 penalty units.

             (4)  The entity commits a separate contravention of subsection (3) in respect of each day in the period:

                     (a)  beginning on the day the entity first contravenes the subsection; and

                     (b)  ending on the day the entity ceases to contravene the subsection (including the day a civil penalty order is made in relation to any of the contraventions or any later day).

Entities that operate wholly, or to a significant extent, for the benefit of registered political parties

             (5)  Without limiting paragraph (1)(b), an entity is, for the purposes of this Part, taken to be an entity that operates wholly, or to a significant extent, for the benefit of one or more registered political parties if:

                     (a)  the entity, or an officer of the entity acting in his or her actual or apparent authority, has stated (in any form and whether publicly or privately) that the entity is to operate:

                              (i)  for the benefit of one or more registered political parties; or

                             (ii)  to the detriment of one or more registered political parties in a way that benefits one or more other registered political parties; or

                            (iii)  for the benefit of a candidate in an election who is endorsed by a registered political party; or

                            (iv)  to the detriment of a candidate in an election in a way that benefits one or more registered political parties; or

                     (b)  the expenditure incurred by or with the authority of the entity during the relevant financial year is wholly or predominantly political expenditure, and that political expenditure is used wholly or predominantly:

                              (i)  to promote one or more registered political parties, or the policies of one or more registered political parties; or

                             (ii)  to oppose one or more registered political parties, or the policies of one or more registered political parties, in a way that benefits one or more other registered political parties; or

                            (iii)  to promote a candidate in an election who is endorsed by a registered political party; or

                            (iv)  to oppose a candidate in an election in a way that benefits one or more registered political parties.

287J   Expenditure incurred by persons and entities that are not registered when required to be so

             (1)  For the purposes of this Act, a person or entity is taken to have incurred an amount of political expenditure in a financial year (the current financial year ) if:

                     (a)  the person or entity incurred that amount of political expenditure in a previous financial year; and

                     (b)  as a result of incurring that political expenditure, the person or entity was required to be registered as a political campaigner or third party campaigner in the previous financial year; and

                     (c)  the person or entity was not so registered:

                              (i)  in the previous financial year; or

                             (ii)  if the person or entity was required to be registered under section 287F or 287G and the 28-day period in which the person was required to be registered ended after the end of the previous financial year—by the end of that period.

             (2)  This section ceases to apply, at the end of the current financial year, in relation to the amount of political expenditure if the person or entity is registered as required as a political campaigner or third party campaigner in the current financial year.

287K   Application for registration

             (1)  A person or entity may apply to the Electoral Commissioner to be registered as:

                     (a)  a political campaigner; or

                     (b)  a third party campaigner; or

                     (c)  an associated entity.

             (2)  The application must:

                     (a)  be in an approved form; and

                     (b)  without limiting paragraph (a):

                              (i)  state the financial controller nominated for the person or entity; and

                             (ii)  for an application to be registered as an associated entity—identify any registered political party with which the entity is associated.

287L   Determining an application for registration

             (1)  After receiving a person or entity’s application under section 287K, the Electoral Commissioner must, subject to subsection (4), register the person or entity within a reasonable period in accordance with the application:

                     (a)  if the application complies with subsection 287K(2); and

                     (b)  for an application to be registered as a third party campaigner—unless the Electoral Commissioner knows that the person or entity is a political campaigner.

             (2)  To avoid doubt, the Electoral Commissioner may (subject to paragraph (1)(b)) register a person or entity in accordance with the person or entity’s application whether or not the person or entity is required to be registered under any of sections 287F to 287H.

Persons or entities that are already on other Registers

             (3)  The Electoral Commissioner must remove a person or entity from the Register of Third Party Campaigners if:

                     (a)  the person or entity is on that Register; and

                     (b)  the Electoral Commissioner registers the person or entity as a political campaigner under subsection (1);

and vice versa.

Refusing registration

             (4)  The Electoral Commissioner must refuse to register a person or entity in accordance with the person or entity’s application under section 287K if the Electoral Commissioner would be required to refuse registration under subsection 129(1) (except under paragraph 129(1)(a)) because of the name of the political campaigner, the third party campaigner or the associated entity assuming that:

                     (a)  the person or entity were applying to be registered as a political party; and

                     (b)  references in that subsection to a “recognised political party”, “political party” or “the party” included references to a “political campaigner”, “third party campaigner” or “associated entity”; and

                     (c)  references in that subsection to a “registered party” included references to a “political campaigner”, “third party campaigner” or “associated entity”.

             (5)  Section 131 (variation of application) applies as if references to an application for the registration of a political party included references to an application for registration under this section.

Review of decisions

             (6)  Section 141 (review of certain decisions) applies as if:

                     (a)  a decision under this section to refuse to register a person or entity in accordance with the person or entity’s application under section 287K were a reviewable decision; and

                     (b)  references to a person included references to a political campaigner, third party campaigner or associated entity.

287M   Applications for deregistration

             (1)  A person or entity that is registered as a political campaigner, a third party campaigner or an associated entity may apply to the Electoral Commissioner to be deregistered.

             (2)  The application must be in an approved form.

             (3)  On receiving the application, the Electoral Commissioner must deregister the person or entity as a political campaigner, a third party campaigner or an associated entity (as the case requires).

Subdivision C Register of Political Campaigners, Register of Third Party Campaigners and Register of Associated Entities

287N   Register of Political Campaigners, Register of Third Party Campaigners and Register of Associated Entities

             (1)  The Electoral Commissioner must establish and maintain each of the following:

                     (a)  a Register of Political Campaigners;

                     (b)  a Register of Third Party Campaigners;

                     (c)  a Register of Associated Entities.

Content of Registers

             (2)  The Register of Political Campaigners must include:

                     (a)  the name of each person or entity registered as a political campaigner under section 287L; and

                     (b)  the name of the financial controller of the person or entity; and

                     (c)  for any entity that is also on the Register of Associated Entities:

                              (i)  a statement that the entity is also on the Register of Associated Entities; and

                             (ii)  the names of any registered political parties with which the entity is associated.

             (3)  The Register of Third Party Campaigners must include:

                     (a)  the name of each person or entity registered as a third party campaigner under section 287L; and

                     (b)  the name of the financial controller of the person or entity; and

                     (c)  for any entity that is also on the Register of Associated Entities:

                              (i)  a statement that the entity is also on the Register of Associated Entities; and

                             (ii)  the names of any registered political parties with which the entity is associated.

             (4)  The Register of Associated Entities must include:

                     (a)  the name of each entity registered as an associated entity under section 287L; and

                     (b)  the name of the financial controller of the entity; and

                     (c)  the names of any registered political parties with which the entity is associated; and

                     (d)  for any entity that is also on the Register of Political Campaigners or the Register of Third Party Campaigners—a statement that the entity is also on that Register.

Determination of additional information

             (5)  Each of the Registers may include any other information determined by the Electoral Commissioner under subsection (6).

             (6)  The Electoral Commissioner may, by legislative instrument, determine information that may or must be included in each or any specified Register.

             (7)  Before making a determination under subsection (6), the Electoral Commissioner must consult the Information Commissioner in relation to matters that relate to the privacy functions (within the meaning of the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010 ) and have regard to any submissions made by the Information Commissioner because of that consultation.

287P   Obligation to notify Electoral Commissioner of changes to information on register

             (1)  A person or entity that is registered as a political campaigner, third party campaigner or associated entity must notify the Electoral Commissioner, in an approved form, if information on the relevant Register relating to the person or entity ceases to be correct or complete.

             (2)  The person or entity must notify the Electoral Commissioner under subsection (1) within 28 days of the information ceasing to be correct or complete.

Note:          A contravention of this civil penalty provision may be a continuing contravention (see section 93 of the Regulatory Powers Act).

Civil penalty:          60 penalty units.

287Q   Registers to be made public etc.

             (1)  The Register of Political Campaigners, the Register of Third Party Campaigners and the Register of Associated Entities may be maintained by electronic means.

             (2)  Each of the Registers is to be made available to the public.

287R   Entry in Registers prima facie evidence of information

                   An entry in the Register of Political Campaigners, the Register of Third Party Campaigners or the Register of Associated Entities is prima face evidence of the information contained in the entry.

12  Section 314AA (definition of amount )

Omit “, loan or bequest”, substitute “or loan”.

Division 2—Application and transitional provisions

13  Application and transitional provisions

(1)       The amendments of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 made by this Part apply (subject to this item) on and after the commencement of this item.

(2)       The following amendments apply on and after the first 1 July that occurs on or after the day this Act receives the Royal Assent:

                     (a)  the amendments of the definition of gift in subsection 287(1), and the definition of amount in section 314AA, of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 made by this Part;

                     (b)  sections 287F to 287H of that Act, as inserted by this Part.

Note:       The effect of paragraph (2)(b) is that an entity that is required to be registered on the first 1 July that occurs on or after the day this Act receives the Royal Assent has 28 days from that day to become registered (see subsections 287F(2), 287G(2) and 287H(2) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 ).

(3)       If this Part commences before Schedule 1 to the Electoral and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2017 , paragraph (c) of the definition of political purpose in subsection 287(1) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 , as inserted by this Part, applies until that commencement as if that paragraph referred instead to “the printing, production, publication or distribution of any material (not being material referred to in subparagraph 314AEB(1)(a)(i) or (ii)) that is required under section 328, 328A or 328B to include a name, address or place of business”.

Part 2 Other amendments

Division 1—Amendments

Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918

14  Subsection 17A(1)

Omit “an offence that has, or may have been, committed against section 315”, substitute “a contravention or potential contravention of a civil penalty provision in this Act”.

15  Before section 287

Insert:

286A   Simplified outline of this Part

This Part deals with the funding of registered political parties, candidates and groups. It also deals with gifts and other financial matters relating to parties, candidates, groups, political campaigners, third party campaigners and associated entities.

Registered political parties, candidates and groups must have agents. Political campaigners, third party campaigners and associated entities must have financial controllers. Many of the obligations in this Part are imposed on those agents and financial controllers.

Registered political parties, candidates and groups may be entitled to election funding. The election funding is payable in relation to any candidate who received more than 4% of the total first preference votes cast in the election.

Generally, gifts of over $250 to political entities (who are registered political parties, candidates and Senate groups), and most political campaigners, must be made by allowable donors (who, broadly, have a connection to Australia). Similarly, only allowable donors may make gifts of more than $250 in a financial year to a single political entity or political campaigner.

Gifts to third party campaigners, and to political campaigners that are registered charities or registered organisations, from non-allowable donors must not be made or used for political purposes. Gifts to such charities and organisations from non-allowable donors must be kept in a separate account.

Generally, gifts must also be paid from bank accounts in Australia. Specified particulars must be provided for gifts over $250.

There are obligations to disclose certain gifts made to:

       (a)     candidates and members of groups during an election period; and

      (b)     registered political parties, State branches and political campaigners.

Certain expenditure incurred by or with the authority of candidates and groups during an election period must also be disclosed.

Each financial year, registered political parties, political campaigners, third party campaigners and associated entities are required to disclose details relating to amounts received or paid or incurred by the parties, campaigners or entities during the year.

16  Subsection 287(1)

Insert:

electoral expenditure has the meaning given by subsection 308(1).

17  Subsection 287(1) (definition of financial controller )

Omit “an entity, means”, substitute “a person or entity, means (subject to section 292F)”.

18  Subsection 287(1) (paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of the definition of financial controller )

Omit “the entity”, substitute “the person or entity”.

19  Division 2 of Part XX (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

Division 2 Agents and financial controllers

20  Before section 288

Insert:

Subdivision A Simplified outline of this Division

287V   Simplified outline of this Division

Political parties, candidates and groups must have an agent. Political campaigners, third party campaigners and associated entities must nominate a financial controller.

The Electoral Commissioner keeps a Register of Party Agents. Information about financial controllers for political campaigners, third party campaigners and associated entities are kept in the Registers under Division 1A.

The agents are responsible for making claims for election funding under Division 3, and agents and financial controllers are responsible for complying with Division 3A, and providing returns under Divisions 4 to 5A.

Subdivision B Appointment of agents

21  Sections 288A to 290

Repeal the sections, substitute:

289   Appointment of agents by candidates and groups

Agents of candidates

             (1)  A candidate in an election (including a member of a group of candidates) may appoint a person to be the agent of the candidate in relation to the election.

Note:          A group of candidates has an agent who is separate from the candidates’ agents (see subsections (3) and (4)).

             (2)  If the candidate does not appoint an agent, the candidate is taken to be his or her own agent in relation to the election.

Agents of members of groups

             (3)  The members of a group of candidates in an election may appoint a person to be the agent of the group in relation to the election.

             (4)  If the members of a group of candidates do not appoint an agent:

                     (a)  if all the members have been endorsed by the same registered political party—the agent of the State branch of the party organised on the basis of the State or Territory in which the election is to be held is taken to be the agent of the group in relation to the election; and

                     (b)  otherwise—the candidate whose name appears first in the group in the ballot papers (or if that candidate dies, the candidate whose name appears next highest in the ballot papers) is taken to be the agent of the group in relation to the election.

22  Paragraphs 292(2)(b) and (3)(b)

Omit “subsection 290(1)”, substitute “subsection 292F(1)”.

23  Paragraph 292B(a)

After “Division”, insert “3A,”.

24  Subsection 292(4)

Omit “subsection 290(1)”, substitute “subsection 292F(1)”.

25  Section 292D

Repeal the section, substitute:

292D   Notice of death or resignation of agent of candidate or group

Death

             (1)  If the agent of a candidate or group dies, the candidate or a member of the group must, without delay, give to the Electoral Commission notice in writing of the death.

Resignation

             (2)  If the agent of a candidate or group resigns, the agent must, without delay, give to the Electoral Commission notice in writing of the resignation.

26  At the end of Division 2 of Part XX

Add:

Subdivision C Nomination of financial controllers

292E   Financial controllers of political campaigners, third party campaigners and associated entities

             (1)  Each political campaigner, third party campaigner and associated entity must nominate a financial controller.

Note:          See the definition of financial controller in subsection 287(1).

             (2)  If the political campaigner, third party campaigner or associated entity is an individual, he or she may nominate himself or herself as the financial controller.

             (3)  If the political campaigner, third party campaigner or associated entity (the campaigner or entity ) is not a legal person, an individual acting on behalf of the campaigner or entity must nominate the financial controller.

Subdivision D Requirements for appointment or nomination

292F   Requirements for appointment or nomination

             (1)  An appointment of an agent under section 288 or 289, or a nomination of a financial controller under section 292E, must meet the following conditions (subject to subsection (2)):

                     (a)  the person appointed or nominated is an individual who is at least 18 years old;

                     (b)  written notice of the appointment or nomination is given to the Electoral Commission:

                              (i)  for an appointment made by a political party or a State branch of a political party—by the party or branch; and

                             (ii)  for any other appointment—by the candidate, or each member of the group, making the appointment; and

                            (iii)  for a nomination of a financial controller of a political campaigner, third party campaigner or associated entity—by the campaigner or entity nominating the financial controller;

                     (c)  the name and full street address and suburb or locality of the person appointed or nominated are set out in the notice;

                     (d)  the person appointed or nominated:

                              (i)  has signed a form of consent to the appointment or nomination; and

                             (ii)  has signed a declaration that he or she is eligible for appointment or nomination;

                     (e)  for a nomination under section 292E—the person nominated meets the definition of financial controller in subsection 287(1).

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to a person who is taken to be an agent under subsection 289(2) or (4).

             (3)  A consent or declaration under subsection (1) may be incorporated in, or written on the same paper as, a notice under that subsection.

             (4)  A person is not eligible to be:

                     (a)  appointed as an agent of a political party, candidate or group; or

                     (b)  nominated as a financial controller of a political campaigner, third party campaigner or associated entity;

if the person is convicted of an offence against this Part.

27  Sections 294 and 297

Repeal the sections, substitute:

Subdivision A Simplified outline of this Division

292G   Simplified outline of this Division

Election funding may be payable in relation to registered political parties, candidates and groups under this Division. The election funding is payable in relation to any candidate who received more than 4% of the total first preference votes cast in the election. However, a claim must be made for election funding to be paid.

The amount of the election funding is worked out by reference to the number of formal first preference votes received by the candidate. However, the amount is capped at the amount of actual expenditure incurred by the candidate or the registered political party endorsing the candidate.

Subdivision B Election funding

293   Election funding for registered political parties

             (1)  Election funding is payable in relation to a registered political party under this section for an election if either of the following applies:

                     (a)  in respect of a candidate whom the party endorses in a House of Representatives election, or in a Senate election and who is not a member of a group—the total number of formal first preference votes given for the candidate is at least 4% of the total number of formal first preference votes cast in the election;

                     (b)  in respect of candidates whom the party endorses in a Senate election and who are members of a group—the total number of formal first preference group votes given for the candidates is at least 4% of the total number of formal first preference votes cast in the election.

Note:          A claim must be made for the election funding to be paid (see section 297).

             (2)  The amount of election funding that is payable in relation to the party is the lesser of:

                     (a)  the total of the following:

                              (i)  $2.70479 for each formal first preference vote given for a candidate in relation to whom paragraph (1)(a) is satisfied;

                             (ii)  $2.70479 for each formal first preference group vote in respect of a group in relation to which paragraph (1)(b) is satisfied;

                            based on formal first preference votes and formal first preference group votes counted as at the day a determination on the party’s interim claim or final claim (as the case requires) for election funding is made by the Electoral Commission; and

                     (b)  the amount of electoral expenditure:

                              (i)  claimed in respect of the registered political party for all elections held that day; and

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

Note:          The amounts in subparagraphs (2)(a)(i) and (ii) are indexed under section 321.

294   Election funding for unendorsed candidates

             (1)  Election funding is payable in relation to a candidate under this section if:

                     (a)  the candidate is neither:

                              (i)  endorsed by a registered political party; nor

                             (ii)  in the case of a Senate election—a member of a group; and

                     (b)  the total number of formal first preference votes given for the candidate in the election is at least 4% of the total number of formal first preference votes cast in the election.

Note:          A claim must be made for the election funding to be paid (see section 297).

             (2)  The amount of election funding that is payable in relation to the candidate is the lesser of:

                     (a)  $2.70479 for each formal first preference vote given for the candidate in the election, based on formal first preference votes counted as at the day a determination on the candidate’s interim claim or final claim (as the case requires) for election funding is made by the Electoral Commission; and

                     (b)  the amount of electoral expenditure:

                              (i)  claimed in respect of the candidate for the election; and

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

Note:          The amount in paragraph (2)(a) is indexed under section 321.

295   Election funding for unendorsed groups

             (1)  Election funding is payable in relation to a group in a Senate election under this section if:

                     (a)  none of the group’s members is a candidate endorsed by a registered political party; and

                     (b)  the total number of formal first preference group votes is at least 4% of the total number of formal first preference votes cast in the Senate election.

Note:          A claim must be made for the election funding to be paid (see section 297).

             (2)  The amount of election funding that is payable in relation to the group is the lesser of:

                     (a)  $2.70479 for each formal first preference group vote in the Senate election, based on formal first preference votes and formal first preference group votes counted as at the day a determination on the group’s interim claim or final claim (as the case requires) for election funding is made by the Electoral Commission; and

                     (b)  the amount of electoral expenditure:

                              (i)  claimed in respect of the group for the Senate election; and

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

Note:          The amount in paragraph (2)(a) is indexed under section 321.

Subdivision C Claims for election funding

297   Need for a claim

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

                     (a)  the agent of a registered political party; or

                     (b)  the agent of a candidate or group.

             (2)  The agent may make:

                     (a)  an interim claim; or

                     (b)  both an interim claim and a final claim; or

                     (c)  a final claim.

Note:          If an interim claim only is made, see subsections 298C(3) and (4).

             (3)  A final claim must specify all electoral expenditure for which election funding is sought, even if some or all of the electoral expenditure has been specified in an interim claim.

             (4)  A final claim may specify electoral expenditure already specified in an interim claim by making reference to the interim claim.

             (5)  Only one interim claim and one final claim may be made.

298   Electoral expenditure incurred

             (1)  A claim made by the agent of a registered political party must specify electoral expenditure:

                     (a)  incurred by the party, or by candidates endorsed by the party, in relation to all elections held on the same day; and

                     (b)  for which election funding is sought.

             (2)  A claim made by the agent of a candidate in an election who is not endorsed by a registered political party must specify electoral expenditure:

                     (a)  incurred by the candidate in relation to the election; and

                     (b)  for which election funding is sought.

             (3)  A claim made by the agent of a group in a Senate election must specify electoral expenditure:

                     (a)  incurred by the group, or by candidates who are members of the group, in relation to the election; and

                     (b)  for which election funding is sought.

298A   Form of claim

                   A claim must:

                     (a)  specify whether the claim is an interim claim or final claim; and

                     (b)  be in an approved form; and

                     (c)  specify the person or persons to whom the election funding is payable; and

                     (d)  if the election funding is payable to more than one person—specify the percentages in which the election funding is payable to each person; and

                     (e)  provide all the information, and be accompanied by any documents, required by the form.

298B   Lodging of claim

             (1)  A claim must be lodged with the Electoral Commission during the period:

                     (a)  beginning 20 days after the polling day for the election or elections; and

                     (b)  ending 6 months after that polling day.

             (2)  A claim is taken not to have been made if it is not lodged within that period.

298C   Determination of claim

             (1)  The Electoral Commission must, within 20 days of the Electoral Commission receiving a claim:

                     (a)  decide whether to accept or refuse the claim, in whole or in part; and

                     (b)  to the extent that the Electoral Commission accepts the claim—pay the amount required by section 298D or 298E.

             (2)  In deciding whether to accept or refuse a claim, in whole or in part, the Electoral Commission must only consider:

                     (a)  whether expenditure claimed is electoral expenditure; and

                     (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.

             (3)  If an interim claim is accepted, in whole or in part, and a final claim is not lodged:

                     (a)  no further election funding is payable; and

                     (b)  the interim claim is taken to be a final claim accepted, in whole or in part, by the Electoral Commission for the purposes of subsection 301(1); and

                     (c)  if the interim claim is accepted only in part—the interim claim is taken to be a final claim refused in part by the Electoral Commission for the purposes of sections 298F, 298G and 298H.

             (4)  If:

                     (a)  an interim claim is refused; and

                     (b)  a final claim is not lodged;

the interim claim is taken to be a final claim refused by the Electoral Commission for the purposes of sections 298F, 298G and 298H.

             (5)  To avoid doubt, subsection (3) does not require the Electoral Commission to determine the amount of election funding that is payable based on formal first preference votes and formal first preference group votes counted as at the day the interim claim is taken to be a final claim.

298D   Payment to be made following acceptance of an interim claim

             (1)  This section applies if the Electoral Commission accepts, in whole or in part, an interim claim made by the agent of a registered political party, candidate or group in relation to an election or elections.

             (2)  The Electoral Commission must, within 20 days of the Electoral Commission receiving the claim, pay 95% of the amount that is payable in relation to the party, candidate or group under subsection 293(2), 294(2) or 295(2), in accordance with paragraphs 298A(c) and (d).

Note 1:       Under paragraphs 298A(c) and (d), a claim may specify the person or persons to whom, and percentages in which, election funding is payable.

Note 2:       See also section 299A if the amount is payable to the agent of a registered political party.

298E   Payment to be made following acceptance of a final claim

             (1)  This section applies if the Electoral Commission accepts, in whole or in part, a final claim made by the agent of a registered political party, candidate or group in relation to an election or elections.

             (2)  The Electoral Commission must, within 20 days of the Electoral Commission receiving the claim, pay the amount that is payable in relation to the party, candidate or group under subsection 293(2), 294(2) or 295(2), reduced by any amount that has been paid in accordance with section 298D, in accordance with paragraphs 298A(c) and (d).

Note 1:       Under paragraphs 298A(c) and (d), a claim may specify the person or persons to whom, and percentages in which, election funding is payable.

Note 2:       See also section 299A if the amount is payable to the agent of a registered political party.

298F   Refusing a final claim

                   If a final claim is refused, in whole or in part, the Electoral Commission must cause to be given to the agent of the registered political party, candidate or group to which the claim relates, a notice that states that the claim has been refused, in whole or in part, and sets out the reasons for the refusal.

Note:          A notice may be required under this section if an interim claim that is refused, in whole or in part, is taken to be a final claim under paragraph 298C(3)(c) or subsection 298C(4).

298G   Application for reconsideration of decision to refuse a final claim

             (1)  If a final claim is refused, in whole or in part, the agent of the registered political party, candidate or group to which the claim relates may apply to the Electoral Commission for the Electoral Commission to reconsider the decision.

             (2)  The application must:

                     (a)  be in writing; and

                     (b)  set out the reasons for the application.

             (3)  The application must be made within:

                     (a)  28 days after the day on which the agent is notified of the refusal; or

                     (b)  if, either before or after the end of that period of 28 days, the Electoral Commission extends the period within which the application may be made—the extended period for making the application.

298H   Reconsideration by Electoral Commission

             (1)  Upon receiving such an application, the Electoral Commission must:

                     (a)  reconsider the decision; and

                     (b)  decide to:

                              (i)  affirm the decision; or

                             (ii)  vary the decision; or

                            (iii)  set aside the decision and make another decision.

             (2)  The Electoral Commission must give to the relevant agent a notice stating the decision on the reconsideration together with a statement of the reasons for the decision.

             (3)  If the Electoral Commission’s decision on the reconsideration would require an amount, or an additional amount, of election funding to be paid, the Electoral Commission must pay the amount within 20 days of the day of its decision.

             (4)  The Electoral Commission may not delegate its power under subsection (1).

             (5)  Subsections 141(5) to (6A) apply in relation to a decision under this section in the same way as those subsections apply to a reviewable decision made by the Electoral Commission under subsection 141(2) or (4).

Subdivision D Payments of election funding

28  Section 299

Repeal the section, substitute:

299   Recovery of amounts that are not payable

                   If:

                     (a)  a payment is made under this Division; and

                     (b)  the recipient is not entitled to receive the whole or a part of the amount paid;

that amount or part may be recovered by the Commonwealth as a debt due to the Commonwealth by action against the person in a court of competent jurisdiction.

29  Subsection 299A(1)

Omit “under section 299 to the agent or principal agent”, substitute “under section 298D or 298E to the agent”.

30  At the end of subsection 299A(1)

Add:

Note:          An interim claim or final claim must specify the person to whom election funding is payable which may be the agent (see paragraph 298A(c)).

31  Subsection 299A(8)

Omit “or principal agent”.

32  Sections 300 and 301

Repeal the sections, substitute:

Subdivision E Miscellaneous

300   Death of candidates or group members

Death of candidate

             (1)  If formal first preference votes were given for a candidate in an election, a payment may be made in respect of the candidate even if the candidate dies.

             (2)  If the candidate was neither:

                     (a)  endorsed by a registered political party; nor

                     (b)  a member of a group;

and was his or her own agent for the purposes of this Part, the payment may be made to the candidate’s legal personal representative.

Death of member of group

             (3)  If group votes were given in a Senate election in relation to a group of candidates, a payment may be made for the group even if a candidate who was a member of the group dies.

301   Varying decisions accepting claims

             (1)  If:

                     (a)  the Electoral Commission has made a decision (the claim decision ) under section 298C to accept an amount of electoral expenditure specified in a final claim; and

                     (b)  the Electoral Commission becomes satisfied that:

                              (i)  the amount of electoral expenditure should not have been accepted; or

                             (ii)  only a lesser amount of electoral expenditure should have been accepted;

the Electoral Commission may vary the claim decision accordingly.

             (2)  If the Electoral Commission makes a decision (the variation decision ) to vary the claim decision, sections 298F, 298G and 298H apply in relation to the variation decision as if it were, to the extent of the variation, a decision of the Commission to refuse the claim.

             (3)  If:

                     (a)  the Electoral Commission varies the claim decision; and

                     (b)  the total amount of election funding that has been paid to a person in respect of the final claim, and any interim claim, exceeds the amount that, under the claim decision as varied, should have been paid to the person in respect of the final claim;

the amount of the excess is an overpayment, and may be recovered by the Commonwealth as a debt due to the Commonwealth by action against the person.

33  After Division 3 of Part XX

Insert:

Division 3A Requirements relating to donations

Subdivision A Interpretation

302A   Simplified outline of this Division

This Division regulates gifts that are made to registered political parties, candidates, groups, political campaigners and third party campaigners.

Gifts of over $250 to political entities (broadly, registered political parties, candidates and Senate groups), and most political campaigners, must be made by allowable donors. Similarly, only allowable donors may make gifts of more than $250 in a financial year to a single political entity or political campaigner. An allowable donor is a person who has a connection to Australia, such as an Australian citizen or an entity that is incorporated in Australia.

Gifts to third party campaigners, and to political campaigners that are registered charities or registered organisations, from non-allowable donors must not be made or used for political purposes. Gifts to such charities and organisations from non-allowable donors must be kept in a separate account.

Anti-avoidance provisions apply to strengthen these requirements.

Generally, gifts must also be paid from bank accounts in Australia. Specified particulars must be provided for gifts over $250.

A person may be liable for a civil penalty for contravening the requirements. There are some exceptions such as when a gift is made in a personal capacity.

302B   Interpretation

             (1)  In this Division:

acceptable action is taken in relation to a gift if any of the following action is taken:

                     (a)  an amount equal to the amount or value of the gift is transferred to the Commonwealth for the purposes of this Division;

                     (b)  the gift is returned to the donor or the person who made the gift;

                     (c)  an amount equal to the amount or value of the gift is transferred to the donor or the person who made the gift.

appropriate donor information has the meaning given by section 302P.

Persons to remain candidates and groups for 30 days after an election

             (2)  For the purpose of this Division:

                     (a)  a person who is a candidate in an election is taken to remain a candidate; and

                     (b)  persons who constituted a group in an election are taken to continue to constitute the same group;

for 30 days after the polling day in the election.

302C   Object of this Division

             (1)  The object of the Division is to secure and promote the actual and perceived integrity of the Australian electoral process by reducing the risk of foreign persons and entities exerting (or being perceived to exert) undue or improper influence in the outcomes of elections.

             (2)  This Division aims to achieve this object by restricting the receipt and use of political donations made by foreign persons or entities that do not have a legitimate connection to Australia.

Subdivision B Offences and civil penalty provisions relating to donations

302D   Donations to registered political parties, candidates, Senate groups and political campaigners

             (1)  A person contravenes this subsection if:

                     (a)  the person is:

                              (i)  an agent of a political entity (the gift recipient ); or

                             (ii)  a financial controller of a political campaigner (the gift recipient ); and

                     (b)  a gift is made to, or for the benefit of, the gift recipient during a financial year; and

                     (c)  the gift is made by, or on behalf of, a person (the donor ); and

                     (d)  the donor is not an allowable donor; and

                     (e)  at the time the gift is made:

                              (i)  the amount or value of the gift is at least $250; or

                             (ii)  the amount or value of the gift, and of all gifts previously made by the donor to the gift recipient during the financial year, is at least $250; and

                      (f)  acceptable action has not been taken in relation to the gift before the end of 6 weeks after the gift is made; and

                     (g)  at the time the gift is made, the gift recipient is not registered under:

                              (i)  the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission Act 2012 ; or

                             (ii)  the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 .

Note 1:       For exceptions to this provision, see sections 302M (seeking information about allowable donor status) and 302N (gifts made in private capacity).

Note 2:       The amount or value of the gift might be a debt due to the Commonwealth under section 302Q.

Note 3:       The physical elements of an offence against subsection (2) are set out in this subsection (see section 302R).

Offence

             (2)  A person commits an offence if the person contravenes subsection (1).

Penalty:  10 years imprisonment or 600 penalty units, or both.

Civil penalty

             (3)  A person is liable to a civil penalty if the person contravenes subsection (1).

Civil penalty:          1,000 penalty units.

Provision not continuing offence or civil penalty

             (4)  Section 4K of the Crimes Act 1914 does not apply in relation to an offence against subsection (2). Section 93 of the Regulatory Powers Act does not apply in relation to a contravention of subsection (3).

302E   Donations to third party campaigners and certain political campaigners

             (1)  A person contravenes this subsection if:

                     (a)  the person is a financial controller of:

                              (i)  a political campaigner (the gift recipient ); or

                             (ii)  a third party campaigner (the gift recipient ); and

                     (b)  a gift is made to, or for the benefit of, the gift recipient during a financial year; and

                     (c)  the gift is made by, or on behalf of, a person; and

                     (d)  the person is not an allowable donor; and

                     (e)  at the time the gift is made, the gift recipient is:

                              (i)  a third party campaigner; or

                             (ii)  a political campaigner that is registered under the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission Act 2012 or the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 ; and

                      (f)  either of the conditions in subsection (2) is met; and

                     (g)  acceptable action has not been taken in relation to the gift before the end of 6 weeks after the gift is made.

Note 1:       For an exception to this provision, see section 302M (seeking information about allowable donor status).

Note 2:       The amount or value of the gift might be a debt due to the Commonwealth under section 302Q.

Note 3:       The physical elements of an offence against subsection (2) are set out in this subsection (see section 302R).

             (2)  A condition in this subsection is met if:

                     (a)  the total of the following amounts is more than the gift recipient’s allowable amount for the financial year:

                              (i)  the amount of political expenditure incurred by the gift recipient during the financial year;

                             (ii)  the total amount or value of gifts made to a political entity or political campaigner by the gift recipient during the financial year; or

                     (b)  the gift is expressly made (whether wholly or partly) for one or more political purposes, and at the time the gift is made:

                              (i)  the amount or value of the gift is at least $250; or

                             (ii)  the amount or value of the gift, and of all gifts previously made by the donor to the gift recipient during the financial year, is at least $250.

Offence

             (3)  A person commits an offence if the person contravenes subsection (1).

Penalty:  10 years imprisonment or 600 penalty units, or both.

Civil penalty

             (4)  A person is liable to a civil penalty if the person contravenes subsection (1).

Civil penalty:          1,000 penalty units.

Provision not continuing offence or civil penalty

             (5)  Section 4K of the Crimes Act 1914 does not apply in relation to an offence against subsection (3). Section 93 of the Regulatory Powers Act does not apply in relation to a contravention of subsection (4).

302F   Donations to political campaigners that are registered charities and organisations

             (1)  A person contravenes this subsection if:

                     (a)  the person is a financial controller of a political campaigner that is registered under the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission Act 2012 or the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 ; and

                     (b)  a gift is made to the campaigner by, or on behalf of, a person; and

                     (c)  the person is not an allowable donor; and

                     (d)  the gift is paid into an account; and

                     (e)  political expenditure, or one or more gifts to one or more political entities or political campaigners, are paid by the political campaigner from the account; and

                      (f)  acceptable action has not been taken in relation to the gift referred to in paragraph (1)(b) before the end of 6 weeks after that gift is made.

Note 1:       For an exception to this provision, see section 302M (seeking information about allowable donor status).

Note 2:       The physical elements of an offence against subsection (2) are set out in this subsection (see section 302R).

Offence

             (2)  A person commits an offence if the person contravenes subsection (1).

Penalty:  10 years imprisonment or 600 penalty units, or both.

Civil penalty

             (3)  A person is liable to a civil penalty if the person contravenes subsection (1).

Civil penalty:          1,000 penalty units.

Provision not continuing offence or civil penalty

             (4)  Section 4K of the Crimes Act 1914 does not apply in relation to an offence against subsection (2). Section 93 of the Regulatory Powers Act does not apply in relation to a contravention of subsection (3).

302G   Soliciting gifts from non-allowable donors

             (1)  A person (the first person ) contravenes this subsection if:

                     (a)  the first person solicits another person (the donor ) to:

                              (i)  make a gift; or

                             (ii)  have a gift made on behalf of the donor;

                            (whether or not the gift is actually made); and

                     (b)  the donor is not an allowable donor; and

                     (c)  the first person solicits the gift intending that all or part of the gift, or of the amount or value of the gift, be transferred to any of the following (the future gift recipient ):

                              (i)  a political entity;

                             (ii)  a political campaigner;

                            (iii)  any other person for one or more political purposes; and

                     (d)  at the time the gift is solicited, the future gift recipient is not registered under:

                              (i)  the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission Act 2012 ; or

                             (ii)  the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 .

Note 1:       For an exception to this provision, see section 302M (seeking information about allowable donor status).

Note 2:       The amount or value of the gift might be a debt due to the Commonwealth under section 302Q.

Note 3:       The physical elements of an offence against subsection (3) are set out in this subsection (see section 302R).

Exception—private capacity

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not apply if the first person solicited the gift intending that all or part of the gift, or of the amount or value of the gift, be transferred to a person or entity referred to in paragraph (1)(c) in a private capacity for his or her personal use.

Note:          A person who wishes to rely on this subsection bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in this subsection (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code and section 96 of the Regulatory Powers Act).

Offence

             (3)  A person commits an offence if the person contravenes subsection (1).

Penalty:  5 years imprisonment or 300 penalty units, or both.

Civil penalty

             (4)  A person is liable to a civil penalty if the person contravenes subsection (1).

Civil penalty:          500 penalty units.

302H   Receiving gifts from non-allowable donors in order to transfer the gifts

             (1)  A person (the first person ) contravenes this subsection if:

                     (a)  a gift is made to the first person by, or on behalf of, another person (the donor ); and

                     (b)  the donor is not an allowable donor; and

                     (c)  the first person receives the gift intending that all or part of the gift, or of the amount or value of the gift, be transferred to any of the following (the gift recipient ):

                              (i)  a political entity;

                             (ii)  a political campaigner;

                            (iii)  any other person for one or more political purposes; and

                     (d)  at the time the gift is made, the gift recipient is not registered under:

                              (i)  the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission Act 2012 ; or

                             (ii)  the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 .

Note 1:       For an exception to this provision, see section 302M (seeking information about allowable donor status).

Note 2:       The amount or value of the gift might be a debt due to the Commonwealth under section 302Q.

Note 3:       The physical elements of an offence against subsection (3) are set out in this subsection (see section 302R).

Exception—private capacity

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not apply if the first person received the gift intending that all or part of the gift, or of the amount or value of the gift, be transferred to a person or entity referred to in paragraph (1)(c) in a private capacity for his or her personal use.

Note:          A person who wishes to rely on this subsection bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in this subsection (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code and section 96 of the Regulatory Powers Act).

Offence

             (3)  A person commits an offence if the person contravenes subsection (1).

Penalty:  5 years imprisonment or 300 penalty units, or both.

Civil penalty

             (4)  A person is liable to a civil penalty if the person contravenes subsection (1).

Civil penalty:          500 penalty units.

302J   Forming bodies corporate for the purposes of avoiding restrictions in this Division

             (1)  A person contravenes this subsection if:

                     (a)  the person forms, or participates in the formation of, a body corporate in Australia; and

                     (b)  the person does so solely or predominantly for the purpose of making a gift that, under this Division, it is unlawful to receive or retain, or use for a political purpose.

Note:          The physical elements of an offence against subsection (2) are set out in this subsection (see section 302R).

Offence

             (2)  A person commits an offence if the person contravenes subsection (1).

Penalty:  5 years imprisonment or 300 penalty units, or both.

Civil penalty

             (3)  A person is liable to a civil penalty if the person contravenes subsection (1).

Civil penalty:          500 penalty units.

Subdivision C Other offences and civil penalty provisions

302K   Donations from foreign bank accounts, or donations made while in a foreign country

             (1)  A person contravenes this subsection if:

                     (a)  the person is:

                              (i)  an agent of a political entity (the gift recipient ); or

                             (ii)  a financial controller of a political campaigner (the gift recipient ); and

                     (b)  a gift is made to, or for the benefit of, the gift recipient; and

                     (c)  either:

                              (i)  the gift is made directly from an account with a bank, credit union, building society or similar institution that is held in a foreign country; or

                             (ii)  the gift is made by telegraphic or electronic transfer by a person who is in a foreign country at the time of making the gift (except if the gift is made from an account held by a bank, credit union, building society or similar institution in Australia); and

                     (d)  acceptable action has not been taken in relation to the gift before the end of 6 weeks after the gift is made; and

                     (e)  at the time the gift is made, the gift recipient is not registered under:

                              (i)  the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission Act 2012 ; or

                             (ii)  the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 .

Note 1:       For an exception to this provision, see section 302N (gifts made in private capacity).

Note 2:       The amount or value of the gift might be a debt due to the Commonwealth under section 302Q.

Note 3:       The physical elements of an offence against subsection (2) are set out in this subsection (see section 302R).

Offence

             (2)  A person commits an offence if the person contravenes subsection (1).

Penalty:  10 years imprisonment or 600 penalty units, or both.

Civil penalty

             (3)  A person is liable to a civil penalty if the person contravenes subsection (1).

Civil penalty:          1,000 penalty units.

Provision not continuing offence or civil penalty

             (4)  Section 4K of the Crimes Act 1914 does not apply in relation to an offence against subsection (2). Section 93 of the Regulatory Powers Act does not apply in relation to a contravention of subsection (3).

302L   Donations of at least $250 etc. without appropriate donor information

             (1)  A person contravenes this subsection if:

                     (a)  the person is:

                              (i)  an agent of a political entity (the gift recipient ); or

                             (ii)  a financial controller of a political campaigner (the gift recipient ); and

                     (b)  a gift is made to, or for the benefit of, the gift recipient during a financial year; and

                     (c)  the gift is made by, or on behalf of, a person (the donor ); and

                     (d)  at the time the gift is made:

                              (i)  the amount or value of the gift is at least $250; or

                             (ii)  the amount or value of the gift, and of all gifts previously made by the donor to the gift recipient during the financial year, is at least $250; and

                     (e)  before the end of 6 weeks after the gift is made, appropriate donor information has not been obtained in accordance with section 302P establishing that the donor is an allowable donor; and

                      (f)  acceptable action has not been taken in relation to the gift before the end of that 6-week period; and

                     (g)  at the time the gift is made, the gift recipient is not registered under:

                              (i)  the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission Act 2012 ; or

                             (ii)  the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 .

Note 1:       For an exception to this provision, see section 302N (gifts made in private capacity).

Note 2:       The amount or value of the gift might be a debt due to the Commonwealth under section 302Q.

Note 3:       The physical elements of an offence against subsection (2) are set out in this subsection (see section 302R).

Offence

             (2)  A person commits an offence if the person contravenes subsection (1).

Penalty:  10 years imprisonment or 600 penalty units, or both.

Civil penalty

             (3)  A person is liable to a civil penalty if the person contravenes subsection (1).

Civil penalty:          1,000 penalty units.

Provision not continuing offence or civil penalty

             (4)  Section 4K of the Crimes Act 1914 does not apply in relation to an offence against subsection (2). Section 93 of the Regulatory Powers Act does not apply in relation to a contravention of subsection (3).

Subdivision D Exceptions and other provisions relating to offences and civil penalty provisions

302M   Exception—seeking information about allowable donor status

                   Subsection 302D(1), 302E(1), 302F(1), 302G(1) or 302H(1) does not apply if:

                     (a)  the person who, apart from this section, would contravene the subsection obtained appropriate donor information in accordance with section 302P establishing that the donor was an allowable donor; and

                     (b)  the person did not, at the following time or times, know, or have reasonable grounds to believe, that the donor was not an allowable donor:

                              (i)  for subsection 302D(1), 302E(1) or 302F(1)—at any time during the 6-week period referred to in that subsection;

                             (ii)  for subsection 302G(1)—at the time the gift is solicited;

                            (iii)  for subsection 302H(1)—at the time the gift is received.

Note:          A person who wishes to rely on this section bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in this section (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code and section 96 of the Regulatory Powers Act).

302N   Exception—gifts made in private capacity

                   Subsection 302D(1), 302K(1) or 302L(1) does not apply if the relevant gift was made in a private capacity to the relevant gift recipient for his or her personal use.

Note:          A person who wishes to rely on this section bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in this section (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code and section 96 of the Regulatory Powers Act).

302P   Information relating to allowable donor status

             (1)  A person (the first person ) obtains appropriate donor information from another person establishing that the other person is an allowable donor if:

                     (a)  the first person obtains a statutory declaration from the other person declaring that the other person is an allowable donor (unless subsection (2) applies); or

                     (b)  if the regulations determine information that the first person may seek from the other person in order to establish that the other person is an allowable donor—the first person obtains that information from the other person.

             (2)  For the purposes of paragraph (1)(b), the regulations may (but are not required to) determine that a statutory declaration that a person is an allowable donor is not appropriate donor information.

Note:          A person who obtains appropriate donor information may not commit an offence or contravene a civil penalty provision in this Division (see subsection 287(9) and section 302M).

302Q   Debts due to the Commonwealth

             (1)  This section applies if:

                     (a)  a gift is made to, or for the benefit of, a person (the gift recipient ); and

                     (b)  a court has determined that the gift recipient or any other person has contravened any of sections 302D to 302L (except section 302J) in relation to the gift.

             (2)  The amount or value of the gift (determined at the time the gift is made) is payable by the gift recipient to the Commonwealth and may be recovered by the Commonwealth as a debt due to the Commonwealth by action in a court of competent jurisdiction.

302R   Physical elements of offences

             (1)  This section applies if a provision of this Division provides that a person contravening another provision of this Act (the conduct rule provision ) commits an offence.

             (2)  For the purposes of applying Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code to the offence, the physical elements of the offence are set out in the conduct rule provision.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out general principles of criminal responsibility.

34  Before section 303

Insert:

302V   Simplified outline of this Division

Candidates and members of groups in an election who receive gifts during the disclosure period for the election must disclose the gifts by providing a return to the Electoral Commission. In addition, persons who make such gifts, where the value or amount of the gifts is more than the disclosure threshold, must also disclose the gifts.

Gifts totalling more than the disclosure threshold that are made by a single person to the same registered political party, State branch or political campaigner during a financial year must also be disclosed in a return provided to the Electoral Commission.

Returns provided under this Division are published by the Electoral Commission under section 320.

There are limitations on loans made to political parties, State branches, political campaigners, candidates or groups that are more than the disclosure threshold.

Gifts of more than the disclosure threshold to a political party, State branch, political campaigner, candidate or group by a corporation that is wound up within a year of making the gift may be recovered from the recipient of the gift.

35  At the end of section 303

Add:

Note:          Particulars provided under subsection 318(2) may be taken to be a return provided under this Division (see subsection 318(2A)).

36  Subsection 304(2)

After “approved form”, insert “and in accordance with this section”.

37  At the end of subsection 304(2)

Add:

Note:          A contravention of this civil penalty provision may be a continuing contravention (see section 93 of the Regulatory Powers Act).

Civil penalty:          180 penalty units.

38  Subsection 304(3)

After “approved form”, insert “and in accordance with this section”.

39  At the end of subsection 304(3)

Add:

Note:          A contravention of this civil penalty provision may be a continuing contravention (see section 93 of the Regulatory Powers Act).

Civil penalty:          180 penalty units.

40  After subsection 304(3)

Insert:

       (3AA)  A return provided under subsection (2) or (3) must also include details of:

                     (a)  any senior staff employed or engaged by or on behalf of the person or group in the person or group’s capacity as a candidate or group, and any membership of any registered political party that any of those members of staff have; and

                     (b)  any discretionary benefits (however described) received by, or on behalf of, the person or any of the members of the group from the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory during the period of 12 months before the polling day in the election or by-election.

Note:          For the definition of senior staff , see subsection 287(1).

41  Subparagraph 304(5)(b)(ii)

Omit “$10,000 or less”, substitute “less than or equal to the disclosure threshold”.

42  Paragraph 304(5)(c)

Omit “$10,000 or less”, substitute “less than or equal to the disclosure threshold”.

43  Subsection 304(5) (note)

Repeal the note.

44  Paragraphs 304(6)(b) and (c)

Omit “exceeds $10,000”, substitute “is more than the disclosure threshold”.

45  Subsection 304(6) (note)

Repeal the note.

46  Paragraph 305A(1)(a)

After “election” (wherever occurring), insert “or by-election”.

47  Subparagraph 305A(1)(b)(ii)

Omit “$10,000”, substitute “the disclosure threshold”.

48  Paragraph 305A(1)(c)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (c)  at the time the person makes the gift or gifts, the person is not a political entity or associated entity.

49  Subsection 305A(1) (note)

Repeal the note.

50  Paragraph 305A(1A)(a)

After “election”, insert “or by-election”.

51  Subparagraph 305A(1A)(b)(ii)

Omit “$10,000”, substitute “the disclosure threshold”.

52  Paragraph 305A(1A)(c)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (c)  at the time the person makes the gift or gifts, the person is not a political entity or associated entity.

53  Subsection 305A(1A) (note)

Repeal the note.

54  Subsection 305A(2)

After “person must”, insert “, in accordance with this section,”.

55  Paragraph 305A(2)(b)

Omit “$10,000”, substitute “the disclosure threshold”.

56  Subsection 305A(2) (note)

Repeal the note, substitute:

Note:          A contravention of this civil penalty provision may be a continuing contravention (see section 93 of the Regulatory Powers Act).

Civil penalty:          60 penalty units.

57  Subsection 305A(2A)

After “election”, insert “or by-election”.

58  Paragraph 305A(3)(a)

After “election”, insert “or by-election”.

59  Subsection 305A(5)

Repeal the subsection.

60  Section 305B (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

305B   Gifts to political parties and political campaigners

61  Subsections 305B(1) and (2)

Repeal the subsections, substitute:

             (1)  If, in a financial year, a person makes gifts totalling more than the disclosure threshold to:

                     (a)  the same registered political party; or

                     (b)  the same State branch of a registered political party; or

                     (c)  the same political campaigner;

the person must, in accordance with this section, provide a return to the Electoral Commission within 20 weeks after the end of the financial year, covering all the gifts that the person made to that political party, branch or campaigner during the financial year.

Note:          A contravention of this civil penalty provision may be a continuing contravention (see section 93 of the Regulatory Powers Act).

Civil penalty:          60 penalty units.

             (2)  For the purposes of subsection (1), a person who makes a gift to any person or body with the intention of benefiting a particular registered political party, State branch of a registered political party, or political campaigner, is taken to have made that gift directly to that party, branch or campaigner.

62  Paragraph 305B(3)(c)

Omit “or branch”, substitute “, branch or campaigner”.

63  Subsection 305B(3A)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

          (3A)  The return must also set out the relevant details of any gift received by the person at any time if:

                     (a)  the gift was used wholly or partly to make another gift (the later gift ) in a financial year to:

                              (i)  the same registered political party; or

                             (ii)  the same State branch of a registered political party; or

                            (iii)  the same political campaigner; and

                     (b)  the amount or value of the later gift is more than the disclosure threshold.

64  Subsection 305B(5)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (5)  This section does not apply to gifts made by a political entity or associated entity.

65  Section 306

Repeal the section.

66  Subsection 306A(1)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (1)  It is unlawful for any of the following:

                     (a)  a political party or a State branch of a political party;

                     (b)  a person acting on behalf of a political party or a State branch of a political party;

                     (c)  a political campaigner, or a person acting on behalf of a political campaigner;

to receive a loan of more than the disclosure threshold from a person or entity other than a financial institution unless the loan is made in accordance with subsection (3).

67  Subsection 306A(2)

Omit “$10,000”, substitute “the disclosure threshold”.

68  Subsection 306A(2) (note)

Repeal the note.

69  Subsection 306A(3)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (3)  The receiver of the loan must keep a record of the following:

                     (a)  the terms and conditions of the loan;

                     (b)  the following information in relation to the loan (as the case requires):

                              (i)  for a loan from a registered industrial organisation other than a financial institution—the name of the organisation, and the names and addresses of the members of the executive committee (however described) of the organisation;

                             (ii)  for a loan from an unincorporated association—the name of the association, and the names and addresses of the members of the executive committee (however described) of the association;

                            (iii)  for a loan paid out of a trust fund or out of the funds of a foundation—the names and addresses of the trustees of the fund or foundation, and the title, name or other description of the trust fund or foundation;

                            (iv)  for any other loan—the name and address of the person or organisation that made the loan.

70  Subsection 306A(4)

After “an election”, insert “or by-election”.

71  Paragraph 306A(6)(a)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (a)  in the case of a loan to or for the benefit of a political party, a State branch of a political party, or a political campaigner, (the loan recipient ):

                              (i)  if the loan recipient is a body corporate—the loan recipient; or

                             (ii)  otherwise—the agent or financial controller of the loan recipient; or

72  Section 306A(8) (definitions of credit card and loan )

Repeal the definitions.

73  Section 306B

Repeal the section, substitute:

306B   Repayment of gifts where corporations wound up etc.

             (1)  This section applies if:

                     (a)  a registered political party, a political campaigner, a candidate or a member of a group receives from a corporation a gift whose amount or value is more than the disclosure threshold; and

                     (b)  the corporation is wound up in insolvency, or by the court on other grounds, within a year of making the gift; and

                     (c)  for a political campaigner—at the time the gift was made, the campaigner was not registered under:

                              (i)  the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission Act 2012 ; or

                             (ii)  the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 .

             (2)  The amount or value of the gift is payable, and may be recovered by the liquidator as a debt due to the liquidator in a court of competent jurisdiction, by:

                     (a)  for a gift to or for the benefit of a registered political party or a political campaigner (the gift recipient ):

                              (i)  if the gift recipient is a body corporate—the gift recipient; or

                             (ii)  if the gift recipient is a registered political party that is not a body corporate—the agent of the gift recipient; or

                            (iii)  if the gift recipient is a political campaigner that is not a body corporate—the financial controller of the gift recipient; or

                     (b)  for a gift to or for the benefit of a candidate or member of the group—the candidate or member, or the agent of the candidate or the group.

Note:          The gift received by the liquidator is an asset of the corporation to be distributed under the provisions of the Corporations Act 2001 .

74  Before section 308

Insert:

307A   Simplified outline of this Division

Expenditure incurred by or with the authority of a candidate or group in an election during the election period must be disclosed by providing a return to the Electoral Commission. The agent for the candidate or group is responsible for providing the return. (Expenditure incurred by registered political parties is provided each financial year under Division 5A.)

Secretaries of Commonwealth Departments and Agency Heads of Commonwealth Agencies must attach statements to annual reports setting out of amounts of more than the disclosure threshold paid to advertising agencies, and market research, polling or other organisations.

Returns provided under this Division are published by the Electoral Commission under section 320.

75  At the end of subsection 308(1)

Add:

               ; or (h)  any other event or activity prescribed by the regulations.

76  At the end of section 308

Add:

Note:          Particulars provided under subsection 318(2) may be taken to be a return provided under this Division (see subsection 318(2A)).

77  Subsection 309(2)

After “approved form”, insert “and in accordance with this section”.

78  At the end of subsection 309(2)

Add:

Note:          A contravention of this civil penalty provision may be a continuing contravention (see section 93 of the Regulatory Powers Act).

Civil penalty:          180 penalty units.

79  Subsection 309(3)

After “approved form”, insert “and in accordance with this section”.

80  At the end of subsection 309(3)

Add:

Note:          A contravention of this civil penalty provision may be a continuing contravention (see section 93 of the Regulatory Powers Act).

Civil penalty:          180 penalty units.

81  At the end of section 309

Add:

             (4)  A return provided under subsection (2) or (3) must also include details of:

                     (a)  any senior staff employed or engaged by or on behalf of the person or group, in the person or group’s capacity as a candidate or group in the election, and any membership of any registered political party that any of those members of staff have; and

                     (b)  any discretionary benefits (however described) received by, or on behalf of, the person or any of the members of the group from the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory during the period of 12 months before polling day in the election.

Note:          For the definition of senior staff , see subsection 287(1).

82  Subsection 311A(2)

Omit “$10,000 or less”, substitute “less than or equal to the disclosure threshold”.

83  Subsection 311A(2) (note)

Repeal the note.

84  Before section 314AA

Insert:

314AAA   Simplified outline of this Division

Registered political parties, political campaigners and associated entities provide returns each financial year to the Electoral Commission setting out details relating to amounts received or paid or incurred by, and the senior staff of, the parties, campaigners or entities during the year. Third party campaigners also provide annual returns setting out details relating to political expenditure incurred by, and the senior staff of, the campaigners during the year.

Returns provided under this Division are published by the Electoral Commission under section 320.

85  Section 314AA

Before “In this Division”, insert “(1)”.

86  At the end of section 314AA

Add:

             (2)  To avoid doubt, a person that becomes, or ceases to be, a registered political party, political campaigner, third party campaigner or associated entity during a financial year is required to provide a return under this Division in relation to the whole financial year.

Note:          Particulars provided under subsection 318(2) may be taken to be a return provided under this Division (see subsection 318(2A)).

87  Section 314AB

Repeal the section, substitute:

314AB   Annual returns by registered political parties and political campaigners

             (1)  The agent or financial controller of each registered political party, each State branch of each registered political party and each political campaigner must, subject to this Division, provide the Electoral Commission a return within 16 weeks after the end of a financial year that:

                     (a)  complies with subsection (2); and

                     (b)  is in an approved form.

Note:          A contravention of this civil penalty provision may be a continuing contravention (see section 93 of the Regulatory Powers Act).

Civil penalty:          360 penalty units.

             (2)  The return must:

                     (a)  set out the following:

                              (i)  the total amount received by, or on behalf of, the party or campaigner during the financial year, together with the details required by section 314AC;

                             (ii)  the total amount paid by, or on behalf of, the party or campaigner during the financial year;

                            (iii)  the total outstanding amount, as at the end of the financial year, of all debts incurred by, or on behalf of, the party or campaigner, together with the details required by section 314AE; and

                     (b)  include details of:

                              (i)  any senior staff employed or engaged by or on behalf of the party or branch, or by or on behalf of the campaigner in its capacity as a political campaigner, and any membership of any registered political party that any of those members of staff have; and

                             (ii)  any discretionary benefits (however described) received by, or on behalf of, the party, branch or campaigner from the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory during the financial year; and

                     (c)  include an auditor’s report prepared in accordance with section 314ABA; and

                     (d)  for a return by a political campaigner that is registered under the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission Act 2012 or the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 —include a signed statement by the financial controller of the campaigner that the campaigner complied with sections 302E and 302F (political donations to third party campaigners, political campaigners and registered charities and organisations) of this Act during the financial year; and

                     (e)  in any case—be complete.

Note:          For the definition of senior staff , see subsection 287(1).

             (3)  The financial controller of a political campaigner that is taken to have incurred an amount of political expenditure in a financial year (the later financial year ) under section 287J must provide:

                     (a)  a return for the financial year in which the expenditure was actually incurred that includes that expenditure; and

                     (b)  a separate return for the later financial year that does not include the expenditure that was taken under section 287J to have been incurred in that later financial year.

314ABA   Requirements for auditor’s report

Who undertakes audit

             (1)  An audit of the return of a registered political party, a State branch of a registered political party, or a political campaigner, (the audited person ) must be undertaken by:

                     (a)  a registered company auditor (within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 ); or

                     (b)  a firm:

                              (i)  that consents to be appointed, or is appointed, as auditor of the audited person; and

                             (ii)  at least one member of which is a registered company auditor (within the meaning of that Act) who is ordinarily resident in Australia; or

                     (c)  an authorised audit company (within the meaning of that Act); or

                     (d)  an entity prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this paragraph.

Audit to be conducted in accordance with auditing standards

             (2)  An audit must be undertaken in accordance with the auditing standards.

Content of auditor’s report

             (3)  The auditor must prepare a report setting out the opinion formed by the auditor about:

                     (a)  whether the return satisfies the requirements of this Act; and

                     (b)  if the auditor is not satisfied that the return satisfies the requirements of this Act:

                              (i)  an explanation as to why the return does not satisfy the requirements of the Act; and

                             (ii)  if it is practicable to quantify the effect that the failure to satisfy the requirements of the Act has on the return—the quantification of that effect; and

                            (iii)  otherwise—a statement as to why it is not possible to quantify the effect that the failure has on the return; and

                     (c)  whether the auditor has been given all information, explanation and assistance necessary for the conduct of the audit; and

                     (d)  whether the audited person has kept financial records sufficient to enable a return to be prepared and audited; and

                     (e)  whether the audited person has kept other records as required by this Act; and

                      (f)  any material defect or irregularity in the return; and

                     (g)  any other statements or disclosures required by the auditing standards.

Obligations on audited entities

             (4)  In having its return audited, the audited person must ensure that the auditor:

                     (a)  has access at all reasonable times to the books of the audited person; and

                     (b)  is given all requested information, explanations or other assistance for the purposes of the audit.

A request under paragraph (b) must be reasonable.

88  Subsection 314AC(1)

Omit “the party”, substitute “a registered political party or a political campaigner”.

89  Subsection 314AC(1)

Omit “$10,000”, substitute “the disclosure threshold”.

90  Subsection 314AC(1) (note)

Repeal the note.

91  Subsection 314AC(2)

Omit “of $10,000 or less”, substitute “that is less than or equal to the disclosure threshold”.

92  Subsection 314AC(2) (note)

Repeal the note.

93  Subsection 314AE(1)

Omit “the party”, substitute “a registered political party or a political campaigner”.

94  Subsection 314AE(1)

Omit “$10,000”, substitute “the disclosure threshold”.

95  Subsection 314AE(1) (note)

Repeal the note.

96  Subsection 314AEA(1)

Omit “financial controller must furnish”, substitute “financial controller must, subject to subsection (6), provide”.

97  At the end of subsection 314AEA(1)

Add:

            ; and (d)  in any case—details of:

                              (i)  any senior staff employed or engaged by or on behalf of the entity, in the entity’s capacity as an associated entity, and any membership of any registered political party that any of those members of staff have; and

                             (ii)  any discretionary benefits (however described) received by, or on behalf of, the entity from the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory during the financial year.

Note 1:       For the definition of senior staff , see subsection 287(1).

Note 2:       A contravention of this civil penalty provision may be a continuing contravention (see section 93 of the Regulatory Powers Act).

Civil penalty:          180 penalty units.

98  Subsection 314AEA(5)

Omit “paragraphs 314AB(2)(a), (b) and (c) to a return for a registered political party”, substitute “subparagraphs 314AB(2)(a)(i), (ii) and (iii) to a return for a registered political party or a political campaigner”.

99  At the end of section 314AEA

Add:

             (6)  A return is not required to be provided under subsection (1) for an associated entity for a financial year if:

                     (a)  the entity was also a political campaigner during that year; and

                     (b)  a return was provided for the entity under section 314AB for that year.

100  Section 314AEB (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

314AEB   Annual returns by third party campaigners

101  Subsections 314AEB(1) and (2)

Repeal the subsections, substitute:

             (1)  A person or entity must provide a return for a financial year in accordance with this section if:

                     (a)  the person or entity is a third party campaigner during the year; and

                     (b)  the campaigner incurred, or authorised the incurring of, political expenditure at a time during the year; and

                     (c)  at that time, the campaigner was not:

                              (i)  a political entity; or

                             (ii)  a member of the House of Representatives or the Senate; or

                            (iii)  the Commonwealth (including a Department of the Commonwealth, an Executive Agency or a Statutory Agency (within the meaning of the Public Service Act 1999 )).

Note:          A contravention of this civil penalty provision may be a continuing contravention (see section 93 of the Regulatory Powers Act).

Civil penalty:          180 penalty units.

             (2)  The campaigner must provide to the Electoral Commission a return for the financial year:

                     (a)  setting out details of:

                              (i)  the expenditure incurred; and

                             (ii)  any senior staff employed or engaged by or on behalf of the campaigner, in its capacity as a third party campaigner, and any membership of any registered political party that any of those members of staff have; and

                            (iii)  any discretionary benefits (however described) received by, or on behalf of, the campaigner from the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory during the financial year; and

                     (b)  including a signed statement by the financial controller of the campaigner that the campaigner complied with section 302E (donations to third party campaigners and certain political campaigners) during the financial year.

Note:          For the definition of senior staff , see subsection 287(1).

102  At the end of subsection 314AEB(3)

Add:

             ; and (c)  if the campaigner is also required to provide a return under section 314AEC—include that return.

103  At the end of section 314AEB

Add:

             (4)  The financial controller of a third party campaigner that is taken to have incurred an amount of political expenditure in a financial year (the later financial year ) under section 287J must provide:

                     (a)  a return for the financial year in which the expenditure was actually incurred that includes that expenditure; and

                     (b)  a separate return for the later financial year that does not include the expenditure that was taken under section 287J to have been incurred in that later financial year.

104  Section 314AEC

Repeal the section, substitute:

314AEC   Annual returns relating to gifts received by third party campaigners for political expenditure

             (1)  A person or entity must provide a return for a financial year in accordance with this section if:

                     (a)  the person or entity is required to provide a return for the year under section 314AEB (annual returns by third party campaigners); and

                     (b)  the person or entity received a gift or gifts, at any time, that the person or entity used during the year (either wholly or partly):

                              (i)  to enable the person or entity to incur political expenditure; or

                             (ii)  to reimburse the person or entity for incurring expenditure for a political purpose; and

                     (c)  either:

                              (i)  the amount of at least one such gift was more than the disclosure threshold; or

                             (ii)  the total amount of all gifts received by the person from at least one single person during the financial year was more than the disclosure threshold.

Note:          The return required under this section must be included in the return provided under section 314AEB (see paragraph 314AEB(3)(c)).

             (2)  The person must provide to the Electoral Commission a return for the financial year setting out the following details:

                     (a)  for subparagraph (1)(c)(i):

                              (i)  the amount of each gift covered by that subparagraph; and

                             (ii)  the date on which the gift was made;

                     (b)  for subparagraph (1)(c)(ii):

                              (i)  the total amount of gifts made by each single person who is covered by that subparagraph; and

                             (ii)  the date on which each of those gifts were made; and

                     (c)  in any case:

                              (i)  for a gift or gifts on behalf of the members of an unincorporated association (other than a registered industrial organisation)—the name of the association, and the names and addresses of the members of the executive committee (however described) of the association; or

                             (ii)  for a gift or gifts purportedly made out of a trust fund, or out of the funds of a foundation—the names and addresses of the trustees of the fund or foundation, and the title, name or other description of the trust fund or foundation; or

                            (iii)  for any other gift or gifts—the name and address of the person who made the gift or gifts.

105  Subsection 314AG(2)

Omit “section 314AB”, substitute “paragraph 314AB(2)(a)”.

106  Section 314A

Repeal the section, substitute:

314A   Simplified outline of this Division

This Division deals with:

       (a)     the recovery of payments made by the Commonwealth; and

      (b)     the powers of the Electoral Commission in relation to investigating compliance with this Part; and

       (c)     general provisions relating to claims and returns (such as amending claims and returns, and record-keeping and publishing requirements).

107  Section 315

Repeal the section, substitute:

315   Requirement to refund payments

                   If:

                     (a)  a person is convicted of an offence under section 137.1 of the Criminal Code in relation to the giving of a return or the making of a claim under this Part; or

                     (b)  a civil penalty order is made against a person in relation to a contravention of a civil penalty provision in this Part;

a court of competent jurisdiction may, in addition to imposing a penalty under section 137.1 or making the civil penalty order, order the person to refund to the Commonwealth the amount of any payment wrongfully obtained by the person under Division 3 of this Part, or the amount or value of any gift made in contravention of this Part.

108  Subsection 315A(1)

Omit “subsection 299(6) or 306(5)”, substitute “section 299 or 302Q or subsection 301(3), or under a civil penalty order made in relation to a contravention of a civil penalty provision in this Part,”.

109  Subsection 316(2A)

Omit “the financial controller of an associated entity or the agent of a registered political party”, substitute “the financial controller of a political campaigner, third party campaigner or associated entity, or the agent of a registered political party, candidate or group”.

110  Paragraphs 316(2A)(a) and (aa)

Repeal the paragraphs, substitute:

                     (a)  the agent or any officer of the political party, or the agent of the candidate or group; or

                    (aa)  the financial controller of the political campaigner, third party campaigner or associated entity or any officer of the political campaigner, third party campaigner or associated entity; or

111  Subsection 316(2B)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

          (2B)  If a notice under paragraph (2A)(a) requires an officer of a political party, political campaigner, third party campaigner or associated entity (other than the agent of the party, or the financial controller of the campaigner or entity, as the case requires) to appear before an authorised officer under paragraph (2A)(d), then the agent of the party, or the financial controller of the campaigner or entity, is entitled:

                     (a)  to attend at the proceeding under paragraph (2A)(d); or

                     (b)  to nominate another person in writing to attend on behalf of the agent or financial controller.

112  Subsection 316(3)

Omit “section 315”, substitute “a civil penalty provision in this Part”.

113  Paragraph 316(3A)(a)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (a)  an authorised officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a person is capable of producing documents or other things, or giving evidence, relating to whether another person or an entity is, or was at a particular time, a political campaigner, third party campaigner or associated entity; and

114  Paragraph 316(3A)(b)

After “an officer of the”, insert “campaigner or associated”.

115  Paragraph 316(7)(a)

Omit “section 315”, substitute “a civil penalty provision in, or an offence against, this Part”.

116  Paragraphs 316(8)(b) and (11)(a)

Omit “section 315”, substitute “the civil penalty provision or offence”.

117  Section 317

Repeal the section, substitute:

317   Keeping records

             (1)  A person who is subject to a civil penalty provision in this Part must keep the following records in accordance with subsections (2) and (3):

                     (a)  records allowing the person to provide an accurate return or claim under this Part;

                     (b)  records required for the purposes of complying with Division 3A (requirements relating to donations);

                     (c)  any other records required for the purposes of allowing the Electoral Commissioner to determine whether the person is complying, or has complied, with this Part;

                     (d)  any other records required by the regulations or a determination under subsection (4).

Civil penalty:          1,000 penalty units.

             (2)  A record must be kept for:

                     (a)  if the record relates to a return in relation to a financial year—5 years after the end of the financial year; and

                     (b)  if the record relates to a return in relation to a gift—5 years after the day the gift is made; and

                     (c)  if the record relates to a claim—5 years after the polling day in the election to which the claim relates; and

                     (d)  if the records relates to compliance with Division 3A—5 years after the day the relevant gift is made.

             (3)  A record must be kept in accordance with any other requirements determined under subsection (4).

             (4)  The Electoral Commissioner may, by legislative instrument, determine:

                     (a)  records for the purposes paragraph (1)(d); or

                     (b)  requirements for records for the purposes of subsection (3).

118  Subsection 318(1)

Omit “subsection 315(2)”, substitute “this Part”.

119  After subsection 318(2)

Insert:

          (2A)  Particulars that were not provided in a return under Division 4, 5 or 5A that are provided under subsection (2) are, for the purposes of this Part, taken to be a return provided under that Division.

120  Subsection 318(3A)

Omit “subsection 315(2)”, substitute “this Part”.

121  Subsection 319A(2A)

After “registered political party,”, insert “or the financial controller of a political campaigner, third party campaigner or associated entity,”.

122  Paragraph 319A(2A)(b)

After “of the political party”, insert “, or nominated as the financial controller of the campaigner or entity”.

123  Subsection 319A(9)

Omit “the liability of a person to be convicted of an offence against subsection 315(2), (3) or (4)”, substitute “whether a civil penalty order may be made against a person because of a contravention of a civil penalty provision in this Part”.

124  Section 320

Repeal the section, substitute:

320   Requirement to publish determinations, notices and returns

             (1)  The Electoral Commission must publish the following in accordance with the following table.

 

Requirement to publish determinations, notices and returns

Item

The Electoral Commission must publish …

at this time …

1

each determination made under section 298C or subsection 301(1) (determination and variation of determination of claims for election funding)

as soon as reasonably practicable after making the determination.

2

each notice of a refusal of a final claim given under section 298F

as soon as reasonably practicable after giving the notice.

3

each notice given under section 298H reconsidering the refusal of a final claim

as soon as reasonably practicable after giving the notice.

4

each election return provided under Division 4 or 5

before the end of 24 weeks after the polling day in the election to which the return relates.

5

each annual return provided under Division 5A

before the end of the first business day in February in the calendar year after the return is provided.

             (2)  A person is not entitled to inspect a determination, notice or return referred to in subsection (1) before the determination, notice or return is published under that subsection.

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

Repeal the definition, substitute:

relevant amount means an amount specified in the following provisions:

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

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

126  Subsection 321(1) (definition of relevant period )

Omit “the period of 6 months commencing on 1 July 1995 and each subsequent period of 6 months”, substitute “each period of 6 months beginning on 1 January or 1 July”.

127  Section 321A (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

321A   Indexation of disclosure threshold

128  Subsection 321A(1)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (1)  This section applies to the dollar amount mentioned in the definition of disclosure threshold in subsection 287(1).

129  Subsections 321A(2) and (3)

Omit “mentioned in the provision”, substitute “mentioned in the definition”.

130  Subsection 321A(7) (definition of indexation year )

Omit “the financial year commencing on 1 July 2006, and each subsequent financial year”, substitute “each financial year beginning on 1 July”.

131  Section 321B (paragraphs (g) and (h) of the definition of disclosure entity )

Repeal the paragraphs, substitute:

                     (g)  a person who:

                              (i)  is or will be required to provide a return under section 305A, 305B or 314AEB for the financial year in which the time occurs; or

                             (ii)  based on conduct in previous financial years, may be required to provide a return under section 305A, 305B or 314AEB for the financial year in which the time occurs;

                            except if the return is provided because of political expenditure incurred solely for the purposes of carrying out an opinion poll, or other research, relating to an election or the voting intentions of electors.

132  Section 321B (note at the end of the definition of disclosure entity )

Omit “and political expenditure”, substitute “and returns by third party campaigners”.

133  Subsection 384(1)

Omit “subsection 315(3) or”.

134  Subsection 384(2)

Omit “an offence referred to in subsection (1)”, substitute “the offence”.

135  Subsection 384(3)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (3)  If, under subsection (2), a court of summary jurisdiction convicts a person of the offence, the court may impose a penalty of imprisonment for a period not exceeding 12 months or a fine not exceeding 20 penalty units, or both.

136  Subsection 384A(1)

Omit “Section 321D”, substitute “Each civil penalty provision of this Act”.

137  Subsection 384A(2)

Omit “section 321D of this Act”, substitute “each civil penalty provision of this Act”.

138  At the end of section 384A

Add:

Delegation

             (3)  The Electoral Commissioner may, in writing, delegate his or her powers and functions under the Regulatory Powers Act to an SES employee, or acting SES employee, of the Commission.

Note:          The expressions SES employee and acting SES employee are defined in section 2B of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

             (4)  A person exercising powers or performing functions under a delegation under subsection (3) must comply with any directions of the Electoral Commissioner.

Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984

139  Section 110A (paragraphs (c) and (d) of the definition of disclosure entity )

Repeal the paragraphs, substitute:

                     (c)  a person who:

                              (i)  is or will be required to provide a return under section 314AEB of that Act for the financial year in which the time occurs; or

                             (ii)  based on conduct in previous financial years, may be required to provide a return under section 314AEB of that Act for the financial year in which the time occurs;

                            except if the return is provided because of political expenditure incurred solely for the purposes of carrying out an opinion poll, or other research, relating to an election or the voting intentions of electors;

140  Section 110A (paragraph (e) of the definition of disclosure entity )

Omit “the amount referred to in paragraph 314AEB(1)(b) of that Act”, substitute “the disclosure threshold (within the meaning of Part XX of that Act)”.

141  Section 110A (note at the end of the definition of disclosure entity )

Repeal the note, substitute:

Note:          Section 314AEB of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 requires returns by third party campaigners.

142  At the end of section 140AAA

Add:

Delegation

             (3)  The Electoral Commissioner may, in writing, delegate his or her powers and functions under the Regulatory Powers Act to an SES employee, or acting SES employee, of the Commission.

Note:          The expressions SES employee and acting SES employee are defined in section 2B of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

             (4)  A person exercising powers or performing functions under a delegation under subsection (3) must comply with any directions of the Electoral Commissioner.

Division 2—Application and transitional provisions

143  Application of amendments

Death and resignation of agents

(1)       The amendments of section 292D of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 , made by this Part, apply in relation to resignations that occur after the commencement of this item.

Appointment of financial controllers and requirement to publish determinations, notices and returns

(2)       Sections 292E and 320 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 , as inserted by this Part, apply on and after the commencement of this item.

Gifts and loans

(3)       The following amendments apply in relation to gifts and loans made after the commencement of this item:

                     (a)  Division 3A of Part XX of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (except as provided by subitems (3) to (5)), as inserted by this Part;

                     (b)  the amendments of Division 4 of Part XX of that Act made by this Part.

Annual returns

(4)       The following amendments apply in relation to financial years commencing at or after the commencement of this item:

                     (a)  sections 302D and 302E of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 , and Division 3A of Part XX of that Act to the extent that it relates to those sections, as inserted by this Part;

                     (b)  the amendments of Division 5A of Part XX of that Act made by this Part.

Soliciting gifts

(5)       Section 302G of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 , and Division 3A of Part XX of that Act to the extent that it relates to that section, as inserted by this Part, apply in relation to the soliciting of gifts after the commencement of this item.

Forming bodies corporate

(6)       Section 302J of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 , and Division 3A of Part XX of that Act to the extent that it relates to that section, as inserted by this Part, apply in relation to the forming of bodies corporate after the commencement of this item.

Disclosure of electoral expenditure

(7)       The amendments of Division 5 of Part XX of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 made by this Part apply in relation to returns provided after the commencement of this item.

Requirement to refund payments

(8)       Section 315 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 , as inserted by this Part, applies in relation to penalties imposed, or civil penalty orders made, after the commencement of this item.

Keeping records

(9)       Section 317 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 , as inserted by this Part, applies in relation to records made after the commencement of this item.

(10)     Despite the repeal of section 317 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 by this Part, that section, as in force immediately before its repeal, continues to apply after the commencement of this item in relation to records made before that commencement.

Indexation

(11)     To avoid doubt, sections 321 and 321A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 , as amended by this Part, apply from the first 1 July that occurs on or after the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent.

144  Transitional—notices given under subsection 290(1)

A notice given to the Electoral Commission under subsection 290(1) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 that is in force immediately before the commencement of this item is taken, after that commencement, to be in force under subsection 292F(1) of that Act, as inserted by this Part.