Political Donations & Gifts

The Local Government and Planning Legislation Amendment (Political Donations) Act 2008 requires the public disclosure of donations or gifts when lodging an application with Council or commenting on development proposals. This law is designed to improve the transparency of the planning system.

The law introduces disclosure requirements for individuals or entities with a relevant financial interest as part of the lodgement of a development application, or requests to initiate changes to planning controls and regulations.

Disclosure requirements also apply to individuals or entities lodging submissions in objection or support to the above types of proposals.

If you would like to learn more about political donations and gifts, please refer to the Disclosure of political donations and gifts: guideline – prepared by the NSW Department of Planning & Infrastructure.

If your not sure whether you need to make a disclosure, please refer to the FAQ's below:

FAQ's

A gift means any disposition of property made by a person to another person, otherwise than by will, being a disposition made without consideration in money or money's worth or with inadequate consideration, and includes the provision of a service (other than volunteer labour) for no consideration or for inadequate consideration.

A reportable political donation is:

(a) In the case of disclosures by a party, elected member, group or candidate – a political donation of or exceeding $1,000 made to or for the benefit of the party, elected member, group or candidate, or

(b) In the case of disclosures by a major political party – a political donation of or exceeding $1000:

(i) Made by the major political donor to or for the benefit of a party, elected member, group or candidate, or

(ii) Made to the major political donor 

A political donation of less than $1,000 made by an entity or other person is to be treated as a reportable donation if that and other separate political donations made by the entity or other person to the same party, elected member, group, candidate or person within the same financial year (ending 30 June) would, if aggregated, constitute a reportable political donation.

A political donation of less than $1,000 made by an entity or other person to a party is to be treated as a reportable political donation if that and other separate political donations made by that entity or person to an associated party within the same financial year (ending 30 June) would, if aggregated, constitute a reportable political donation . However, this requirement does not apply in connection with disclosures of political donations by parties.

Parties are associated parties if endorsed candidates of both parties were included in the same group in the last periodic Council election or are to be included in the next periodic Council election.

A reportable political donation made to a local councillor includes a reference to a donation

made at the time the person was a candidate for election to the council.

You do not need to make a disclosure unless you have made a political donation or gift within the period commencing 2 years before you lodge your Development Application.

If you have made a political donation or gift within the previous 2 years, you need to complete the following forms and submit them to Council with your Development Application.

Cowra Shire Council – Political Donations and Gift Disclosure Form.

You do not need to make a disclosure unless you have made a political donation or gift within the period commencing 2 years before you lodge your submission.

If you have made a political donation or gift within the previous 2 years, you need to complete the following forms and submit them to Council with your submission.

Cowra Shire Council – Political Donations and Gift Disclosure Form.

If you have made a reportable political donation or gift and fail to make a disclosure when this is required, there are harsh penalties.

You are guilty of an offence if you fail to make a disclosure of a political donation or gift that you know, or ought reasonably to know, was made and is required to be disclosed in accordance with the requirements of the relevant legislation.

The maximum penalty for any such offence is the maximum penalty under Part 6 of the Election Funding and Disclosures Act 1981 for making a false statement in a declaration of disclosures under that Part. Currently the maximum penalty is 200 penalty points ($22,000) or imprisonment for 12 months, or both.