Political Donations & Expenditures

As of 1 September 2008, political donations or electoral expenditure of $1000 or more must be disclosed under the Election Funding and Disclosures Act 1981, when making planning applications or submissions in respect to planning applications. 

In accordance with Section 328A of the Local Government Act 1993, Council is required to keep a Register of Donations and Expenditure by Councillors. Register donations here >>

To access this register, please contact Council's Help and Service Centre on 9777 1000.

What is a political donation?

Political Donations are gifts and contributions to a political party, councillor, member of Parliament, candidate or group of candidates in NSW.

Donations include money, services, gifts and tickets or other items at a fundraising event or function.

What is a planning application and what is a relevant public submission?

Whether you are making a planning application or a submission in respect to a planning application, political donations or expenditures over $1000 must be disclosed.

A planning application is:

a) a formal request to the Minister, a council or the Director-General to initiate the making of an environmental planning instrument or development control plan in relation to development on a particular site, or

b) a formal request to the Minister or the Director-General for development on a particular site to be made State significant development or declared a project to which Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 applies, or

c) an application for approval of a concept plan or project under Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (or for the modification of a concept plan or of the approval for a project), or

d) an application for development consent under Part 4 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (or for the modification of a development consent), or

e) any other application or request under or for the purposes of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 that is prescribed by the regulations as a relevant planning application,

but does not include:

f) an application for (or for the modification of) a complying development certificate, or

g) an application or request made by a public authority on its own behalf or made on behalf of a public authority, or

h) any other application or request that is excluded from this definition by the regulations.

A relevant public submission means a written submission made by a person objecting to or supporting a relevant planning application or any development that would be authorised by the granting of the application.

For further information refer to Section 147 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

What is electoral expenditure?

Electoral expenditure is that which is used to promote or oppose a political party or candidate for the purpose of influencing votes. This includes advertising, rallies, travel and research.

What constitutes a political donation or gift?

A reportable political donation is a donation of:

  • $1,000 or more made to or for the benefit of the party, elected member, group or candidate; or
  • $1,000 or more made by a major political donor to or for the benefit of a party, elected member, group or candidate, or made to the major political donor; or

  • Less than $1,000 if the aggregated total of the donations made by the entity or person to the same party, elected member, group, candidate or person within the same financial year (ending 30 June) is $1,000 or more.

Political donations and planning applications

A disclosure statement of a reportable political donation or gift must accompany a planning application or submission if the reportable donation or gift is made within 2 years before the application or submission is made. If the donation or gift is made after the lodgement of the application, a disclosure statement must be sent to the relevant consent or approval authority within 7 days after the donation or gift is made.

For more information about political donations, expenditures and how to disclose this information, visit the website for the Election Funding Authority.

>> Register a political donation