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2023 NSW State election: Political participants bulletin No.5

Issued 23 January 2023

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1. Half-yearly political donation disclosures due 13 February

The lodgement period for half-yearly donation disclosures for 1 July to 31 December 2022 has begun.

Disclosures must be submitted by Monday, 13 February 2023 (a recent legislative change to the Electoral Funding Act 2018 extended the disclosures lodgment period from 4 to 6 weeks).

Half-yearly disclosures must include all political donations made or received during the half-year period, except those already disclosed in a pre-election period disclosure.

Disclosures must be lodged by all political parties, elected members, candidates, groups of candidates, associated entities, and third-party campaigners. If you did not make or receive any reportable political donations in the half-year period, or you have reported all political donations in pre-election period disclosures, you are still required to make a ‘nil’ disclosure. Half-yearly disclosures can be submitted using Funding and Disclosure Online.

Alternatively, PDF disclosure forms are available on our website.

More information about disclosing half-yearly donations.

2. Registering for funding and disclosure purposes

Candidates and groups

Candidates and groups must register for the election before accepting political donations or making payments for electoral expenditure.

Being registered as a candidate or group is a separate process to being nominated. To have your name included on a ballot paper you must lodge a nomination form and nomination deposit during the nomination period. View our Candidates and groups: Registration v nomination video for more information on the difference between registration and nomination.

Registration for the election closes at 12 noon Wednesday, 8 March 2023.

Apply to be registered as a candidate or group using Funding and Disclosure Online.

Candidates and groups who do not register before being nominated are taken to be registered once they have been validly nominated. Political donations can be accepted, and payments can be made for electoral expenditure for the election, from that time.

The details of registered candidates and groups are included in a publicly available register.

More information about registering as a candidate or group.

Third-party campaigners

Third-party campaigners must register for the election before making payments of more than $2,000 for electoral expenditure incurred during the capped expenditure period for the election (1 October 2022 to election day). Making payments when more than $2,000 is incurred without being registered is an offence under NSW electoral funding law.

A third-party campaigner must appoint an official agent who is required to comply with disclosure and campaign account legal requirements on behalf of the third-party campaigner.

Registration for the election closes on Monday, 20 March 2023.

Apply to be registered as a third-party campaigner and appoint an official agent using Funding and Disclosure Online.

The details of registered third-party campaigners and official agents are included in publicly available registers.

More information about registering as a third-party campaigner.

3. Who can make political donations?

Only certain individuals and entities are eligible to make political donations in New South Wales:

  • an individual enrolled to vote at federal elections or in New South Wales for State or Local Government elections, or

  • an entity with a business number recognised by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (e.g. ABN or ACN), or

  • an individual or entity who has supplied to the NSW Electoral Commission identification that is acceptable to the NSW Electoral Commission

Individuals or entities seeking approval of acceptable identification in order to make political donations must complete and submit the Application for approval of acceptable identification by a potential political donor (EF.708) with a copy of their identification.

It is unlawful to accept a political donation from a person or entity who is not eligible to make political donations. Further, certain individuals and entities are prohibited from making donations (see prohibited donors information on the website).

Important information about potential donor individuals not enrolled to vote or entities without an ABN/ACN

When an individual wants to make a political donation and that individual is not enrolled to vote at NSW State elections (within the meaning of the Electoral Act 2017), or is not on the roll of electors for federal elections or NSW local government elections, they must supply acceptable identification to the NSW Electoral Commission showing their full name and Australian residential address.

Similarly, when an entity wants to make a political donation and does not have an ABN or other number allocated or recognised by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, a principal or executive officer of that entity must supply acceptable identification to the NSW Electoral Commission showing the principal or officer’s full name and Australian residential address.

Refer to the NSW Electoral Commission’s Identification of potential political donors policy and procedures and section 46 of the Electoral Funding Act 2018 for more information.

4. Postal vote applications

To support the smooth operation of the postal voting process throughout the election period we recommend you provide a contact with whom our postal voting team can liaise. This information should be provided by email to pva@elections.nsw.gov.au.

5. Candidate handbook

The Candidate Handbook for the 2023 NSW State election is available on the website under resources in step 1 of the six steps to being a candidate. The candidate handbook provides general guidance to participants about key dates, election processes and regulatory obligations in one place. Participants are encouraged to refer to the candidate handbook to familiarise themselves with upcoming dates, election processes and their obligations.

6. Nomination online management system (NOMS)

The nomination online management system (NOMS) will be used at the 2023 State election. Candidates and Registered Political Parties (RPPs) can use NOMS to prepare and lodge their nomination and group forms and to pay their nomination deposits. NOMS will be accessible on the NSW Electoral Commission website from early February 2023 to allow time to prepare nomination forms prior to the lodgement period commencing Monday, 27 February 2023. Candidates and parties are strongly encouraged to lodge their nomination online using NOMS.

Using NOMS will:

  • Verify the enrolment of candidates and nominators

  • Assist in minimising errors and ensure all compulsory sections of the nomination form have been completed

  • Allow candidates and/or registered political parties, administrators and groups to oversee and manage the progress of each nomination

  • Allow for the nomination and deposit (paid using Visa or Mastercard) to be lodged online, and

  • Allow for automated messaging between the NSW Electoral Commission and the candidate or party concerning the acceptance or rejection of each nomination.

An overview of NOMS will be provided in the candidate information webinar to be held on Thursday, 2 February 2023.

7. Candidate and participant information webinars

The next webinar is at 11am Thursday, 2 February 2023 and will cover the following topics:

  • Nomination process

  • Legislative Council Second Preference Groups

  • Nomination Online Management System

  • Postal Voting Applications

Find information about the webinar series and register your attendance for upcoming webinars. If you are unable to attend, please note that webinars are recorded and published on the NSW Electoral Commission website.

8. Candidate and electoral participant helpdesk

The helpdesk operates Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. The helpdesk can be contacted on 1300 022 011 or via email at candidates@elections.nsw.gov.au.