Donations will be capped for local government candidates, political parties and third-party campaigners under new integrity laws.
Donations will be capped for local government candidates, political parties and third-party campaigners under new integrity laws. Rob Wright

Donations capped for councillor candidates

NEW integrity laws have been introduced to reduce potential corruption and undue influence at local government level.

Candidates, political parties and third-party campaigners are all subject to the laws, which were introduced on July 1.

The news laws regulate donations and the management of donations and expenditure for local government elections.

The political donation regulations for local government are now the same as for NSW State Government elections.

"The new local government election integrity laws are part of the state reforms reinforcing trust, respect and integrity in the administration of elections and the democratic process," said Keith Mason, chairman of the NSW Electoral Commission.

"It is important that all candidates and parties know and follow the new rules as there are serious consequences if they are not followed.

"We are doing our best to effectively communicate the changes and ensure those impacted understand their obligations and what they need to do."

Donations are now capped at $5900 to any registered party or group, and $2600 to an unregistered party, elected member, candidate or third party campaigner.

It is now unlawful for a person in a local government election to make or accept a political donation that exceeds the relevant cap.

To increase transparency, political parties need to use a separate local government campaign account to make payments for electoral expenditure and deposit political donations for local government elections.

Third-party campaigners in local government elections must register with the NSW Electoral Commission.

This refers to individuals or entities who spend more than $2000 towards campaign communications and are not candidates or a political party.

For more information on the new laws, visit www.elections.nsw.gov.au.



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