Political parties and candidates contesting the September 9 Local Council election are subject to donation caps, which have been adjusted for inflation from July 1.
Donations are now capped at $6,100 per financial year, per donor, to any registered political party or group.
Donations made by a donor in a financial year to an unregistered party, candidate or third-party campaigner are now capped at $2,700.
“Everyone must know and follow the laws,” said John Schmidt, NSW Electoral Commissioner.
“This is especially true for candidates, donors, and third-party campaigners in council areas having their first election since these laws came in.”
“The laws reinforce trust, respect, and integrity in the democratic process and the administration of State and Local Government elections in NSW,” said Mr. Schmidt.
It is unlawful for a person to make or accept a political donation (or multiple donations) that in total exceeds the relevant cap”.
In addition to donation caps, the laws also mean: candidates must declare if they are a property developer, when nominating for a Local Council election.
Political parties must use separate campaign accounts for electoral expenditure for Local Council and State elections, increasing transparency.
Individuals or organisations other than candidates, groups, elected members and political parties who incur more than $2,000 in electoral communication expenditure must register as third-party campaigners.
A person holding civic office can be disqualified if they have been convicted of an offence relating to unlawful donations or the failure to disclose donations or electoral expenditure, or have been convicted of an offence of any kind that is punishable by imprisonment of five years or more in the last seven years.
Candidates, groups, and third-party campaigners must register with the NSW Electoral Commission before accepting political donations and incurring electoral expenditure.
Registrations are now open.
Registration for candidates and groups close on August 9 and registrations for third-party campaigners close on September 1.
Media release, Jul 6
Richard Carroll, NSW Electoral Commission