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Administering political party registrations and financial disclosure

The AEC helps stakeholders carry out their obligations and responsibilities under the Electoral Act. This includes maintaining the funding and disclosure scheme and providing information on requirements for political party registration.

The AEC maintains the Register of Political Parties and, under the Commonwealth funding and financial disclosure scheme, requires groups and individuals to lodge annual or election period financial disclosure returns. Returns disclose detailed financial information about donations to political parties and election campaigns, and can be securely lodged online through the AEC’s eReturns system.

The AEC undertakes annual compliance reviews of disclosure returns. The AEC administers public funding for political parties and candidates contesting federal elections and by-elections. Election funding rates are available on the AEC website.

Highlights of the year

Changes to election funding and disclosure laws

In 2018–19 changes were made to election funding and disclosure laws in
the Electoral Act as a result of the Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Act 2018 (FAD Reform Act). The FAD Reform Act introduced new laws that affect political parties, their associated entities and other non-party political actors.

The changes, which came into effect on 1 December 2018 and 1 January 2019, represent a significant change to funding and disclosure legislation.

In response to these changes, the AEC created a Transparency Register which was available on the AEC website from 1 December 2018. The register contains information about political parties, associated entities, third parties, political campaigners and donors, and candidates registered with, or recognised by, the AEC.

Information on other changes resulting from the FAD Reform Act is at www.aec.gov.au

Data Highlights

  • 14 new political parties registered
  • Three political parties deregistered
  • Five applications requesting a review of a delegate’s decision not to approve an application for registration as a political party. Three still under consideration at 30 June 2019

Financial disclosure returns

  • Received 68 election returns
  • Reviewed 653 annual financial disclosure returns and amendments
  • 79 per cent of returns completed online
  • 16 compliance reviews of disclosure returns resulted in 15 amended returns being lodged by the party or entity

The number of returns lodged for the past three financial years is at appendix G.

For more information go to:

  • the performance statement – agency direction one
  • appendix G
  • www.aec.gov.au