It certainly pays to be elected for Euroa
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.