Changes to elec­tion fund­ing and dis­clo­sure

Sunshine Coast Daily - Caloundra Weekly - - NEWS -

THE Elec­toral Leg­is­la­tion Amend­ment (Elec­toral Fund­ing and Dis­clo­sure Re­form) Act 2018 re­ceived Royal Assent on Novem­ber 30, 2018 with changes in ef­fect last week.

The FAD Re­form Act in­tro­duces new laws that af­fect po­lit­i­cal par­ties, their as­so­ci­ated en­ti­ties and other non-party po­lit­i­cal ac­tors. The FAD Re­form Act:

■ Es­tab­lishes a Trans­parency Regis­ter, which is in­tended to be a new ‘one-stop-shop’ for pub­licly avail­able in­for­ma­tion

■ Pro­hibits do­na­tions from for­eign gov­ern­ments and state-owned en­ter­prises be­ing used to fi­nance pub­lic de­bate

■ Re­quires po­lit­i­cal ac­tors to ver­ify that cer­tain do­na­tions come from: an or­gan­i­sa­tion in­cor­po­rated in Aus­tralia, or with its head of­fice or prin­ci­pal place of ac­tiv­ity in Aus­tralia; or an Aus­tralian cit­i­zen, Com­mon­wealth elec­tor or a New Zealand cit­i­zen who holds a Sub­class 444 (Spe­cial Cat­e­gory) visa

■ Pro­hibits other po­lit­i­cal ac­tors from us­ing do­na­tions from for­eign sources to fund elec­toral ex­pen­di­ture

■ Lim­its pub­lic elec­tion fund­ing to demon­strated elec­tion spend­ing

■ De­fines what ac­tiv­i­ties of en­ti­ties en­gaged in pub­lic de­bate will be cap­tured by a re­quire­ment to regis­ter with the AEC and/or pro­vide an­nual dis­clo­sure re­turns

■ Modernises the en­force­ment and com­pli­ance regime for po­lit­i­cal fi­nance reg­u­la­tion

The FAD Re­form Act rep­re­sents the most sig­nif­i­cant change to fund­ing and dis­clo­sure leg­is­la­tion in some time.

Re­fer to the AEC web­site for fur­ther in­for­ma­tion.

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