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A Bill for an Act to amend the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, and for related purposes
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Registered 28 Nov 2019
Introduced Senate 27 Nov 2019
Table of contents.

2019

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Transparency Measures—Real Time Disclosure) Bill 2019

 

No.      , 2019

 

(Senator Farrell)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to amend the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, and for related purposes

  

  


Contents

1............ Short title............................................................................................. 1

2............ Commencement................................................................................... 1

3............ Schedules............................................................................................ 2

Schedule 1—Amendments                                                                                                3

Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918                                                                         3

 

 


A Bill for an Act to amend the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1  Short title

                   This Act is the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Transparency Measures—Real Time Disclosure) Act 2019.

2  Commencement

             (1)  Each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.

 

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provisions

Commencement

Date/Details

1.  The whole of this Act

The first 1 July to occur after the day this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally enacted. It will not be amended to deal with any later amendments of this Act.

             (2)  Any information in column 3 of the table is not part of this Act. Information may be inserted in this column, or information in it may be edited, in any published version of this Act.

3  Schedules

                   Legislation that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

Schedule 1Amendments

  

Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918

1  After Division 4 of Part XX

Insert:

Division 4ADisclosure of receipt of donations

307AA  Interpretation

                   In this Division:

disclosure gift from a person or entity means a gift from the person or entity that is equal to or more than the disclosure threshold.

disclosure sum from a person or entity means a sum of gifts (other than disclosure gifts) received from the person or entity that is equal to or more than the disclosure threshold.

gift recipient means any of the following:

                     (a)  a registered political party;

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

                     (c)  a candidate (including a member of a group) in an election or a by‑election;

                     (d)  a group;

                     (e)  an associated entity.

307AB  Disclosure of certain gifts to gift recipients

Returns after receiving disclosure gift or disclosure sum

             (1)  For each disclosure gift received by a gift recipient from a person or entity during a financial year, the recipient’s agent or financial controller must provide a return for the gift in accordance with this section within 7 days of receiving the gift.

             (2)  If a gift recipient receives a disclosure sum from a person or entity during a financial year, the recipient’s agent or financial controller must provide a return in accordance with this section within 7 days after the day:

                     (a)  the recipient receives the gift (a trigger gift) that makes the sum of gifts received during the financial year a disclosure sum; and

                     (b)  of each subsequent gift (a post‑trigger gift) after the trigger gift the recipient receives from the person or entity during the financial year.

Form of the return

             (3)  The return must:

                     (a)  be in the approved form; and

                     (b)  in the case of a return required under subsection (1) because of a disclosure gift:

                              (i)  set out the amount or value of the disclosure gift that was received; and

                             (ii)  set out the date on which the disclosure gift was received; and

                     (c)  in the case of a return required under subsection (2) because of a trigger gift:

                              (i)  set out the disclosure sum received; and

                             (ii)  set out the amount or value of each gift that makes up the disclosure sum; and

                            (iii)  set out the date on which each of those gifts was received;

                     (d)  in the case of a return required under subsection (2) because of a post‑trigger gift:

                              (i)  set out the amount or value of the post‑trigger gift that was received; and

                             (ii)  set out the date on which the post‑trigger gift was received.

             (4)  The return must set out:

                     (a)  if the person or entity was an unincorporated association, other than a registered industrial organisation:

                              (i)  the name of the association; and

                             (ii)  the names and addresses of the members of the executive committee (however described) of the association; or

                     (b)  if the gift or gifts from the person or entity was paid out of a trust fund or paid out of the funds of a foundation:

                              (i)  the names and addresses of the trustees of the fund or of the foundation; and

                             (ii)  the title or other description of the trust fund, or the name of the foundation, as the case requires; or

                     (c)  in any other case—the name and address of the person or entity.

Miscellaneous

             (5)  An agent or financial controller of a gift recipient must not contravene subsection (1) or (2).

Civil penalty:

The higher of the following amounts:

                     (a)  60 penalty units;

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

             (6)  Subsection 93(2) of the Regulatory Powers Act does not apply in relation to a contravention of subsection (5) of this section.

307AC  Disclosure of certain gifts to political campaigners

Returns after use of disclosure gift, disclosure sum or post‑disclosure sum gift

             (1)  If a political campaigner has used any part of a disclosure gift from a person or entity for a covered purpose during a financial year, the campaigner’s financial controller must provide a return in accordance with this section within 7 days after the day of that use.

             (2)  If a political campaigner has used any part of a disclosure sum from a person or entity for a covered purpose during a financial year, the campaigner’s financial controller must provide a return in accordance with this section within 7 days after:

                     (a)  if a part of a gift that makes up the sum has been used for a covered purpose before the sum is a disclosure sum—the day the sum became a disclosure sum; or

                     (b)  otherwise—the day after a part of the sum is used for a covered purpose.

             (3)  If:

                     (a)  a political campaigner uses during a financial year a part of a gift (a post‑disclosure sum gift) received from a person or entity for a covered purpose; and

                     (b)  before receiving the post‑disclosure sum gift, the campaigner had made a return required under subsection (2) in relation to the use of a disclosure sum from the person or entity for a covered purpose during the financial year;

the campaigner’s financial controller must provide a return in accordance with this section within 7 days after the day the part of the post‑disclosure sum gift is used.

Covered purposes

             (4)  The following purposes are covered purposes:

                     (a)  to enable a political campaigner to incur electoral expenditure, or create or communicate electoral matter;

                     (b)  to reimburse a political campaigner for incurring electoral expenditure, or creating or communicating electoral matter.

Form of return

             (5)  The return must:

                     (a)  be in the approved form; and

                     (b)  in the case of a return required under subsection (1):

                              (i)  set out the amount or value of the disclosure gift that was received; and

                             (ii)  set out the date on which the disclosure gift was received; and

                            (iii)  set out how the disclosure gift, in whole or part, was used for a covered purpose; and

                     (c)  in the case of a return required under subsection (2):

                              (i)  set out the disclosure sum received; and

                             (ii)  set out the amount or value of each gift that makes up the disclosure sum; and

                            (iii)  set out the date on which each of those gifts was received; and

                            (iv)  set out how the disclosure sum, in whole or part, was used for a covered purpose; and

                     (d)  in the case of a return required under subsection (3):

                              (i)  set out the amount or value of the post‑disclosure sum gift that was received; and

                             (ii)  set out the date on which the post‑disclosure sum gift was received; and

                            (iii)  set out how the post‑disclosure sum gift, in whole or part, was used for a covered purpose.

             (6)  The return must set out:

                     (a)  if the person or entity was an unincorporated association, other than a registered industrial organisation:

                              (i)  the name of the association; and

                             (ii)  the names and addresses of the members of the executive committee (however described) of the association; or

                     (b)  if the gift or gifts from the person or entity was paid out of a trust fund or paid out of the funds of a foundation:

                              (i)  the names and addresses of the trustees of the fund or of the foundation; and

                             (ii)  the title or other description of the trust fund, or the name of the foundation, as the case requires; or

                     (c)  in any other case—the name and address of the person or entity.

Miscellaneous

             (7)  A financial controller of a political campaigner must not contravene subsection (1), (2) or (3).

Civil penalty:

The higher of the following amounts:

                     (a)  60 penalty units;

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

             (8)  Subsection 93(2) of the Regulatory Powers Act does not apply in relation to a contravention of subsection (7) of this section.

2  Subsection 320(1) (after table item 4)

Insert:

4A

each return provided under Division 4A

as soon as reasonably practicable after receiving the return.