Who needs to register?

Updated: 17 May 2019

You may be required to register with the AEC if you incur significant expenditure in seeking to influence voters in an election, or if you have some kind of connection with a registered political party (such as being controlled by or operating for the benefit of a registered political party).

Political Campaigner registration

The Application for Registration as a Political Campaigner is an approved form that must be completed by any person or entity if:

  1. The amount of electoral expenditure incurred by or with the authority of the person or entity during that or any one of the previous 3 financial years is $500,000 or more; or
  2. The amount of electoral expenditure incurred by or with the authority of the person or entity:
    1. During the financial year is $100,000 or more; and
    2. During the previous financial year was at least two-thirds of the revenue of the person or entity for that year

Electoral expenditure refers to expenditure incurred for the dominant purpose of creating or communicating electoral matter. Further details on electoral expenditure can be found at the Electoral Expenditure and Electoral Matter fact sheet.

If you are required to be registered as a political campaigner, you must register before the end of 90 days after becoming required to be registered.

Not registering as a political campaigner will incur a civil penalty whichever is the higher of the following amounts:

  • 200 penalty units;
  • If there is sufficient evidence for the court to determine the amount, or an estimate of the amount, of electoral expenditure incurred in contravention of this subsection – 3 times that amount.

The political campaigner and financial controller’s names will be included in the Transparency Register.

Associated Entity registration

You do not need to register as an associated entity if you lodged an associated entity annual disclosure return for 2017-18. Your details have been automatically included on the Transparency Register.

The Application for Registration as an Associated Entity is an approved form that must be completed by any entity (except a political entity) if:

  1. The entity is controlled by one or more registered political parties;
  2. The entity operates wholly, or to a significant extent, for the benefit of one or more registered political parties;
  3. The entity is a financial member of a registered political party;
  4. Another person is a financial member of a registered political party on behalf of the entity;
  5. The entity has voting rights in a registered political party;
  6. Another person has voting rights in a registered political party on behalf of the entity.

If you are required to be registered as an associated entity, you must register before the end of 90 days after becoming required to be registered.

Not registering an associated entity will incur a civil penalty whichever is the higher of the following amounts:

  1. 200 penalty units;
  2. If there is sufficient evidence for the court to determine the amount, or an estimate of the amount, of electoral expenditure incurred in contravention of this subsection – 3 times that amount.

The associated entity and financial controller’s names will be included in the Transparency Register, as well as the names of associated registered political parties.

Voluntary Deregistration

A person or entity that is registered as a political campaigner or an associated entity may apply to the Electoral Commissioner to be deregistered under s287M of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 2018.

An application to deregister can be made via the approved form, after which the AEC must deregister the person or entity as a political campaigner or an associated entity.

This application should only be completed if you are no longer required to be registered as either a political campaigner or an associated entity.

If you need assistance please email fad@aec.gov.au, or alternatively call the Funding and Disclosure help desk on (02) 6271 4552.

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