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Political donors

People and entities making political donations in New South Wales are called donors. An entity includes an incorporated or unincorporated body and the trustee of a trust. Those making political donations of $1,000 or more are called major political donors.

If you’re asked to give support to a political participant, any donation you make must comply with New South Wales law.

Learn more about the rules when making political donations below.

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Who can make donations?

There are strict rules in New South Wales about who can make political donations. A donor must be either:

  • an individual enrolled to vote at federal elections or in New South Wales for state or local government elections

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

  • an individual or entity that has been approved by the NSW Electoral Commission to make political donations. To be able to make political donations a prospective donor must make an application to the NSW Electoral Commission and provide acceptable identification.

Certain corporations, individuals and their close associates are banned from making political donations. See prohibited donors for detailed information on who they are.

What legal obligations does a political donor have?

A major political donor is required to disclose reportable political donations of $1,000 or more made to a political party, elected member, group, candidate, associated entity or third-party campaigner.

The disclosure is made by lodging an annual major political donor disclosure.

Should a donor receive a receipt or acknowledgement?

A donor must be issued a receipt by the political party, elected member, group of candidates, candidate, associated entity or third-party campaigner receiving a reportable political donation.

For non-monetary donations, an acknowledgement is to be issued to the political donor. The receipt/acknowledgement must include a statement advising the donor of the requirements to disclose the donation to the NSW Electoral Commission. See record keeping.

What information is published about a donor?

Parties, elected members, candidates, groups, associated entities and third-party campaigners that receive a reportable political donation are required to disclose that donation to the NSW Electoral Commission.

The disclosure includes the name and address of the donor. For a donor who is a person, the address is generally the same as the donor’s enrolled address.

All disclosures are published on the NSW Electoral Commission website.

What if a donor is a silent elector?

If a person who has made a reportable political donation is, or becomes, a silent elector, the donor should advise the NSW Electoral Commission, to ensure that their enrolled address is not disclosed or published on the NSW Electoral Commission’s website.