47. Do political parties have to report regularly on their finances?




Political parties registered with the Australian Electoral Commission are required under  Part XX of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 to lodge an annual Political Party Disclosure Return which must reach the Commission no later than 16 weeks after the end of the financial year.

Source: Australian Electoral Commission, Disclosure Guide for Political Parties 2018-19 financial year https://www.aec.gov.au/Parties_and_Representatives/financial_disclosure/guides/political-parties/files/political-parties-2018-19.pdf



A number of state and territory jurisdictions have their own disclosure schemes, which are separate to the Commonwealth funding and disclosure scheme administered by the Australian Electoral Commission.

The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters "Inquiry into the Commonwealth Amendment (Real time Disclosure of Political Donations) Bill 2019 examined the issue of real time disclosure of political party donations. The intent of the Bill was that every recipient of a donation at the federal level should be required to declare that donation in real time or at least within five days.The Committee Report tabled December 2019 recommended that the Bill not be passed. However, it noted that " Further examination of these issues is expected to occur in November 2020 when the Committee undertakes a review of the Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Act 2018".

Source: Advisory Report on the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Real Time Disclosure of Political Donations Bill 2019. https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Joint/Electoral_Matters/ElectoralAmendmentBill/Report

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