Candidates in local government elections must be aware of their legislative obligations in relation to the disclosure of gifts leading up to the local government elections.
Part 5A of the Local Government (Elections) Regulations 1997 requires both candidates and donors to disclose information about any electoral related gift with a value of $200 or more that was given or promised during the disclosure period (being six months before election day).
A "gift" means a disposition of property, or the conferral of any financial benefit, made by one person in favour of another.
It can include:
- a gift of money
- a gift which is non-monetary but of value
- a gift in kind or where there is inadequate financial consideration such as the receipt of a discount (where the difference or the discount is worth more than $200)
- a financial or other contribution to travel
- the provision of a service for no consideration or for inadequate consideration
- a firm promise or agreement to give a gift at some future time.
It is important to note that a gift could be one or more gifts from the same donor that has a combined value of $200 or more.
A "gift" does not include a gift by will; a gift from a relative; a gift that does not relate to the candidate's candidature; or the provision of volunteer labour.
Disclosure of electoral gifts
Both candidates and donors are required to disclose information about any electoral related gift with a value of $200 or more that is given or promised within the disclosure period. It is essential that candidates be aware of this legislative requirement and should advise of their reporting responsibilities.
Within three days of nomination, any candidate in a local government election is required to disclose any gifts received within the disclosure period prior to nomination. The disclosure period commences six months prior to Election Day.
The disclosure period concludes 3 days after election day for unsuccessful candidates or for successful candidates on the start day for financial interest returns.
The start day is the day of the declaration by the Elected Member.
How a disclosure is made
All disclosures are to be made on a LG09A Disclosure of Gifts form and delivered to the City of Stirling Chief Executive Officer within three days of receiving the gift, once your candidate nomination has been made to the Returning Officer.
Donors will also need to disclose any gifts made within the relevant period. Information to be supplied includes the name of the candidate, the name and address of the donor, the date the gift was promised and received, the value of the gift and a description of the gift.