Election funding

Updated: 8 September 2016

Qualifying for election funding

Division 3 of Part XX of the Electoral Act deals with election funding. To be entitled to election funding a candidate must receive a least 4% of the formal first preference votes in an election in which the candidate stands. For a Senate group, the group as a whole must receive at least 4% of the formal first preference votes in the Senate election in that state or territory.

Payment of election funding

Sections 299(1)(d) and 299A of the Act provide that payment of an election funding entitlement in respect of a candidate or candidates endorsed by a registered political party be made to the party agent of the State branch of the party that is organised on the basis of the State or Territory in which the candidate or candidates stood for election.

The election funding scheme operates through the compulsory appointment of party agents by each registered political party and their State and Territory branches. The party agents are responsible for completing annual financial disclosure returns and being the conduit through whom the payment of election funding is organised.

If no party agent is appointed, no election funding can be paid. Procedures for the appointment of party agents were discussed previously in this guide.

Candidates at an election also have the option to appoint an agent, or to fulfil the requirements of the scheme through being their own agent.

The election funding scheme is quite complex and full details are provided in the Election Funding Guide.