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  • Writer's pictureDavid James Connolly

Election funding

How it works

Election funding is payable in relation to any candidate or group who receives at least four per cent of the total first preference votes in an election.

The value of the election funding entitlement is calculated by multiplying:

  • the total number of formal first preference votes received; by

  • the current election funding rate.

Automatic payment

The AEC will automatically pay an amount to the agent of each eligible political party, candidate, or Senate group, as soon as practicable after 20 days after the polling day for an election. The automatic payment amount is indexed every six months and its current value can be found on the election funding rates page.

Claims for further funding

In order to receive election funding of greater than the automatic payment a claim setting out electoral expenditure incurred must be lodged with the AEC by the agent of the eligible political party, candidate, or Senate group.

Payment of election funding is limited to the lesser of:

  • the calculated election funding entitlement; or

  • the amount of demonstrated electoral expenditure.

Lodging a claim

A claim, using the approved election funding claim form, must be lodged with the AEC:

  • no earlier than 20 days after polling day; and

  • no later than six months after polling day.

  • Election funding guide

  • Election funding claim form

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An agent may make an interim claim, a final claim, or an interim claim followed by a final claim (only one interim and one final claim can be lodged).

Key paragraph from Election Funding Guide:

Electoral expenditure is generally expenditure incurred for the dominant purpose of

creating or communicating electoral matter. Where expenditure is incurred tocreate or

communicate electoral matter, in addition to other reasons, the dominant purpose of the expenditure must be considered.

Electoral expenditure may include broadcasting, advertising and publishing expenses

related to the election. However there are many other costs which may be included.

Determining a claim

The AEC must decide whether to accept, in whole or in part, a claim for election funding within 20 days of receiving the claim. To the extent that the AEC accepts the claim, the AEC will pay the claim within this time period.

Funding will only be paid if the AEC is satisfied that the claimed electoral expenditure is accurate and unique.

Appeal mechanisms exist for instances where a final claim is refused in whole or in part.

Payment of election funding

The initial automatic payment will be paid directly to agents.

Subsequent funding will be paid, based on an accepted claim, to the person or persons specified in that claim and not automatically to agents.

The amount payable will be calculated as the lesser of:

  • the calculated election funding entitlement; or

  • the amount of demonstrated electoral expenditure.

The payment will be reduced by the amount that has been paid as an automatic payment.

See also

  • Current election funding rates

  • Election funding FAQs

  • 2019 federal election payment

More on these topics: here

Best regards,

David James Connolly

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