24 March: NSW Electoral Commission to penalise failure to disclose political donations
The NSW Electoral Commission will take enforcement action against 14 entities and individuals that have missed the deadline or entirely failed to disclose political donations they received between 1 July 2014 and 1 March 2015.
The NSW Electoral Commission received 411 declarations on behalf of parties, elected members, candidates, groups and third-party campaigners for the Additional Disclosure Period in the lead-up to the 28 March State Election.
Out of the entities and individuals required to lodge a declaration, five have failed to lodge and 11 lodged a declaration after the due date, making a total of 16 contraventions.
"The Commission takes seriously the rules on disclosing political donations and will be taking enforcement action against 14 entities and individuals that, on the information known to the Commission, have broken the law," said NSW Electoral Commission Chairperson, Hon Keith Mason AC QC.
"We have issued Penalty Notices and Cautions according to the seriousness of the contravention and will also be considering a prosecution in one case."
The declarations that have been lodged are a matter of public record and are published on the NSW Electoral Commission website at: http://adp.elections.nsw.gov.au/
The declarations must disclose political donations of $1,000 or more received between 1 July 2014 and 1 March 2015. If no donations were received, declarations should have been lodged to that effect.
This additional requirement on parties and candidates applied only to the 2015 State Election and was introduced in accordance with the interim recommendations of the Panel of Experts on Political Donations.
The Panel has since delivered its final report which has proposed long term reform options on political donations.
For more information about disclosure of political donations generally or the State Elections to be held on 28 March 2015, visit the NSWEC website at http://www.elections.nsw.gov.au
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