It cer­tainly pays to be elected for Euroa

Seymour Telegraph - - NEWS -

Can­di­dates for the district of Euroa are set for a pay-day now the votes have been fi­nalised with the Vic­to­rian Elec­toral Com­mis­sion to dis­trib­ute hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars to all four con­tenders.

Can­di­dates who poll more than four per cent re­ceive $1.75 for every first pref­er­ence vote they re­ceived, with all four Euroa can­di­dates polling above the thresh­old.

Greens can­di­date Kep­pell Cas­sidy, who polled just 5.24 per cent of the vote, stands to de­liver $3846.50 to his party, while at the other end of the scale, The Na­tion­als’ Steph Ryan — who re­ceived the most first pref­er­ence votes — will be on the re­ceiv­ing end of $43 310.75.

The money is in­tended to com­pen­sate for the cost of cam­paign­ing and blunt the power of do­na­tions to in­flu­ence in­de­pen­dents and po­lit­i­cal par­ties.

It is paid to the re­spec­tive can­di­dates’ po­lit­i­cal party, or the can­di­date them­selves if they are in­de­pen­dent.

Un­der leg­is­la­tion passed ear­lier this year, the amounts will more than triple to $6 per vote at the next Vic­to­rian state elec­tion.

The Elec­toral Leg­is­la­tion Amend­ment Bill 2018 also con­tains new fund­ing to con­trib­ute to the run­ning of a mem­ber of par­lia­ment’s of­fice.

In­de­pen­dents and par­ties with only one mem­ber in par­lia­ment will re­ceive $200 000 per year in ‘ad­min­is­tra­tive’ fund­ing that is re­stricted in its use and can­not be put to­wards cam­paign­ing, un­like the VEC’s pub­lic fund­ing pay­ments which are in­tended for cam­paign­ing.

Par­ties re­ceive $200 000 for the first mem­ber of par­lia­ment, $70 000 for the sec­ond and $35 000 for each sub­se­quent mem­ber to a max­i­mum of 45.

The new fund­ing ar­range­ments, passed in July this year, are part of a suite of mea­sures de­signed to limit the power of po­lit­i­cal do­na­tions and bring more trans­parency to the do­na­tions sys­tem.

The to­tal cost of the changes to tax pay­ers is es­ti­mated at $45 mil­lion per year.

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