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A Bill for an Act to amend the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, and for related purposes
For authoritative information on the progress of bills and on amendments proposed to them, please see the House of Representatives Votes and Proceedings, and the Journals of the Senate as available on the Parliament House website.
Registered 25 Oct 2021
Introduced HR 25 Oct 2021
Table of contents.

2019‑2020‑2021

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Disclosure of Political Donations) Bill 2021

 

No.      , 2021

 

(Dr Haines)

 

 

 

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 (Disclosure of Political Donations) Act 2021.

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Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally enacted.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:

$1,000‑exceeding sum from a person or entity means a sum of gifts received from the person or entity that is equal to or more than $1,000.

disclosure threshold‑exceeding sum from a person or entity means a sum of 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.

quarter means a period of 3 months starting on 1 January, 1 April, 1 July or 1 October.

307AB  Real‑time disclosure of disclosure threshold‑exceeding gifts

             (1)  If a gift recipient receives a disclosure threshold‑exceeding 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:

                     (a)  within 5 business days after the day the recipient receives the gift (a trigger gift) that makes the sum of gifts received during the financial year a disclosure threshold‑exceeding sum; and

                     (b)  within 5 business days after the day of each subsequent gift (a post‑trigger gift) after the trigger gift the recipient receives from the person or entity during the financial year.

Note:          For the purposes of paragraph (a), it does not matter whether the trigger gift is itself equal to or more than the disclosure threshold.

             (2)  The return must:

                     (a)  be in the approved form; and

                     (b)  in the case of a return required under paragraph (1)(a) because of a trigger gift:

                              (i)  set out the disclosure threshold‑exceeding sum received; and

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

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

                     (c)  in the case of a return required under paragraph (1)(b) 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.

             (3)  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.

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

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.

             (5)  Subsection 93(2) of the Regulatory Powers Act does not apply in relation to a contravention of subsection (4) of this section.

307AC  Quarterly disclosure of $1,000‑exceeding gifts

             (1)  If a gift recipient receives a $1,000‑exceeding sum from a person or entity during a quarter, the recipient’s agent or financial controller must provide a return in accordance with this section within 5 business days after the end of the quarter.

             (2)  The return must:

                     (a)  be in the approved form; and

                     (b)  set out the sum of the gifts that the gift recipient receives from the person or entity during the quarter; and

                     (c)  for each of those gifts:

                              (i)  set out the amount or value of the gift; and

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

             (3)  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.

             (4)  Subsection (1) does not apply if the gift recipient receives a disclosure threshold‑exceeding sum from the person or entity during the period:

                     (a)  starting at the start of the financial year in which the quarter occurs; and

                     (b)  ending at the end of the quarter.

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

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.

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.