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 make disclosures in regard to gifts given to candidates during the specified 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 $200.00). A “gift” could also include a financial or other contribution to travel, the provision of a service for no consideration or for inadequate consideration, and a firm promise or agreement to give a gift at some future time. 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 $200.00 or more) that is given or promised within the six month period prior to the Election Day. It is essential that candidates be aware of this legislative requirement and should advise donors of their reporting responsibilities.
Within three days of nomination, any candidate in a local government election will need to disclose any gifts received within the disclosure period. The disclosure period commences six months prior to the Election Day. The disclosure period finishes three days after Election Day (for unsuccessful candidates) and on the start day for financial interest returns for successful candidates.
How a Disclosure is made
The disclosure is to be made in the prescribed form and delivered to the Town of Claremont 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 or received, the value of the gift and a description of the gift.
Electoral Gifts Register
Regulation 30G of the Local Government (Elections) Regulations 1997 requires the Chief Executive Officer to establish and maintain an Electoral Gift Register.