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5           Electoral Legislation Amendment (Annual Disclosure Equality) Bill 2021

A message from the House of Representatives was reported transmitting for the concurrence of the Senate the following bill:

Message no. 514, dated 1 December 2021—A Bill for an Act to amend the law relating to electoral and financial disclosure matters, and for related purposes.

The Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services (Senator Colbeck) moved—That this bill may proceed without formalities and be now read a first time.

Question put and passed.

Bill read a first time.

On the motion of Senator Colbeck the bill was debated and read a second time.

The Senate resolved itself into committee for the consideration of the bill.

 

 

 

In the committee

Bill taken as a whole by leave.

Senator Patrick, also on behalf of Senator Lambie, moved the following amendment on sheet 1527:

(1)—Schedule 1, page 19 (after line 26), at the end of the Schedule, add:

Part 4—Disclosure threshold

53  Subsection 287(1) (definition of disclosure threshold )

Omit “$13,800”, substitute “$1,000”.

54  Subsection 287(1) (note to the definition of disclosure threshold )

Repeal the note.

55  Subsection 287(1) (paragraph (a) of the definition of third party )

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

56  Section 321A

Repeal the section.

Debate ensued.

Question—That the amendment be agreed to—put.

The committee divided—

AYES, 9

Senators—

Cox

Hanson-Young

McKim*

Rice

Faruqi

Lambie

Patrick

Waters

Griff

 

 

 

 

NOES, 24

Senators—

Askew

Chandler

Henderson

Paterson

Birmingham

Colbeck

Hume

Ruston

Bragg

Davey

McAllister

Scarr

Brockman

Duniam

McCarthy*

Seselja

Canavan

Fawcett

McGrath

Small

Cash

Fierravanti-Wells

O’Sullivan

Smith, Dean

* Tellers

Question negatived.

Senator Patrick, also on behalf of Senator Lambie, moved the following amendments on sheet 1528 together by leave:

(1)—Schedule 1, item 24, page 6 (line 10), omit the item, substitute:

24  Section 302V

Before “Returns provided under this Division”, insert “Gifts totalling more than the disclosure threshold that are made by a single person to the same member of the House of Representatives or the same Senator during a financial year for federal purposes must also be disclosed in a return provided to the Electoral Commission”.

(2)—Schedule 1, page 19 (after line 26), at the end of the Schedule, add:

Part 5—Proceeds of events

57  Subsection 287(1) (definition of regulated entity )

Omit “section 314B”, substitute “sections 314AED and 314B”.

58  Subsection 287(1)

Insert:

cost of an event means the sum of amounts incurred for or in connection with the event by the person or entity who held the event.

proceeds of an event means the sum of amounts:

                       (a)  received by the person or entity who held the event; and

                      (b)  derived directly or indirectly from the event.

shared event cost: see section 287ABA.

59  After section 287AB

Insert:

287ABA  Meaning of shared event cost

   (1)  The shared event cost of an event is the cost of the event, divided by the number of persons who attended the event.

   (2)  For the purposes of subsection (1), the number of persons who attended an event does not include a person who was present at the event only for the purpose of providing services, including but not limited to catering, entertainment or security services.

Example:   The cost of an event was $10,000. 110 persons were present at the event. 10 persons were present only for the purpose of providing catering, entertainment and security services. 100 persons attended the event. The shared event cost is $100.

60  Section 302V

After:

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

insert:

If a gift of more than the disclosure threshold is made with the proceeds of an event meeting certain criteria, the return provided by the person who made the gift must include the details of persons who contributed (or on whose behalf a contribution was made) to such proceeds.

61  After subsection 305A(4)

Insert:

(4A)  For the purposes of this section, if:

                       (a)  a gift was made that was wholly or partly derived from the proceeds of an event; and

                      (b)  the proceeds of the event were equal to or more than 115% of the cost of the event;

the required details of the gift are also:

                       (c)  the name and address of each person who made a contribution to the proceeds of the event of equal to or more than 115% of the shared event cost; and

                      (d)  the name and address of each person on whose behalf a contribution to the proceeds of the event was made of equal to or more than 115% of the shared event cost.

62  After subsection 305B(3)

Insert:

          (3AA)  If:

                       (a)  a gift was made that was wholly or partly derived from the proceeds of an event; and

                      (b)  the proceeds of the event were equal to or more than 115% of the cost of the event;

the return must also set out:

                       (c)  the name and address of each person who made a contribution to the proceeds of the event of equal to or more than 115% of the shared event cost; and

                      (d)  the name and address of each person on whose behalf a contribution to the proceeds of the event was made of equal to or more than 115% of the shared event cost.

63  Section 314AAA

Before:

Returns provided under this Division are published by the Electoral Commissioner, on the Transparency Register, under section 320.

insert:

Regulated entities (including registered political parties and their State branches, candidates, members of groups, significant third parties, third parties and associated entities) provide returns each financial year to the Electoral Commissioner setting out details of certain events held by the regulated entity, including the proceeds of the event and the names and addresses of those who contributed (or on whose behalf a contribution was made) to such proceeds.

64  Before section 314AF

Insert:

314AEE  Annual returns relating to proceeds of events

   (1)  This section applies if:

                       (a)  a regulated entity holds an event during a financial year; and

                      (b)  the proceeds of the event are equal to or more than 115% of the cost of the event; and

                       (c)  the proceeds of the event exceed the cost of the event by an amount equal to or more than the disclosure threshold.

   (2)  A return for the financial year must be provided in accordance with this section by:

                       (a)  if the regulated entity is a political entity, significant third party or associated entity—the agent or financial controller of the political entity, significant third party or associated entity; or

                      (b)  if the regulated entity is a third party—the third party.

Civil penalty:

The higher of the following:

                       (a)  120 penalty units;

                      (b)  if an amount is not disclosed under paragraph (4)(b) and there is sufficient evidence for the court to determine the amount, or an estimate of the amount, not disclosed under that paragraph—3 times that amount.

   (3)  The return must be provided to the Electoral Commissioner within 16 weeks after the end of the financial year.

   (4)  The return must specify:

                       (a)  the date of the event; and

                      (b)  the proceeds of the event; and

                       (c)  the cost of the event; and

                      (d)  the name and address of each person who made a contribution to the proceeds of the event of equal to or more than 115% of the shared event cost; and

                       (e)  the name and address of each person on whose behalf a contribution to the proceeds of the event was made of equal to or more than 115% of the shared event cost.

   (5)  The return must be in the approved form.

   (6)  Subsection 93(2) of the Regulatory Powers Act does not apply in relation to a contravention of subsection (2) of this section.

Debate ensued.

 

 

 

At 11.15 am : The committee reported progress.