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Australian Electoral Commission

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Background information

Background information

Independent Senate groups (i.e. those groups not endorsed by a registered political party) and Senate groups who were jointly endorsed by more than one registered political party must lodge returns of donations received and electoral expenditure.

Senate groups who were endorsed by a single registered political party (that is the majority of Senate groups) do not lodge a return as their information is included in the party’s annual return.

13 independent or jointly endorsed Senate groups contested the 2016 federal election, with the due date for the returns being 15 weeks after polling day, that is 17 October 2016.

Disclosure period

The disclosure period for donations received commences when the request for the names to be grouped was made (i.e. when they nominate) and ends 30 days after polling day.

The disclosure period for electoral expenditure is from the issue of the writ until polling day.

Donations Received

The total amount of donations received and the total number of donors must be disclosed.

Details of all donations totalling more than $13,200 must be provided. Donations and ‘gifts-in-kind’ (e.g. donated advertising) must be disclosed.

Electoral Expenditure

Six categories of electoral expenditure must be reported. These categories relate to advertising, campaign material, direct mailing and opinion polling.

Other election expenditure (e.g. travel and administrative costs) is not reported.

Senate group members

Candidates who are members of a Senate group must also lodge a candidate disclosure return.   They do not need to complete the electoral expenditure part of the return as this information is consolidated on the return of the Senate group.


This page last updated 30 August 2017 (Version: 2.3.35.44992)