Attention Former Candidates – Public Funding Information

If you have previously stood as a candidate in prior elections and you are considering nominating as an independent (unendorsed) candidate in the 2018 State election, then you should be aware of the new funding and disclosure requirements relevant to candidates.

New funding and disclosure provisions were introduced into the Electoral Act 1985 (the Act) on 1 July 2015.

Under the new provisions, candidates, groups and registered political parties may apply for public funding of their election campaigns by agreeing to abide by capped limits on political expenditure during the ‘capped expenditure period’:

  • For unendorsed candidates standing for election to the House of Assembly, the expenditure cap is $100,000 (indexed).
  • For unendorsed individual candidates standing for election to the Legislative Council, the expenditure cap is $125,000 (indexed).

Current indexed amounts can be found on our Indexed Amounts page.

There are penalties for spending in excess of your cap.

To be eligible for payment of public funding, a candidate or group must either be elected or must receive at least 4% of the total first preference votes in their relevant electoral district.

For unendorsed candidates who are not a Member of Parliament and groups which do not have a Member of Parliament, funding is calculated at:

  • $3.50 (indexed) for each first preference vote received that falls within the first 10% of the total first preference votes cast in the relevant electoral district; and
  • $3.00 (indexed) for each first preference vote received in excess of 10% of the total first preference votes cast in the relevant electoral district.

The amount of public funding paid is the lesser of either:

  • the entitlement calculated; or
  • the amount of political expenditure incurred.

To participate in the public funding scheme, a certificate must be lodged with the Electoral Commissioner by the legislated deadline pursuant to section 130Y of the Act.

If you are intending to stand as an unendorsed candidate at the 2018 State election and would like to apply for public funding, you must lodge your 130Y certificate by 5pm on the day on which your ‘capped expenditure period’ will commence (section 130Y(2)(b) of the Act).

If you have nominated as a candidate for:

  • a House of Assembly election within the period of 5 years before polling day for the 2018 State election; or
  • a Legislative Council election within the period of 9 years before polling day for the 2018 State election,

then your ‘capped expenditure period’ will commence on 1 July 2017. This means that if you wish to participate in the public funding scheme you must lodge your 130Y certificate by 5pm, 1 July 2017.

The 130Y certificate can be downloaded from the Forms page.

If you lodge the certificate and then do not nominate as a candidate at the 2018 State election, there is no penalty and the certificate will be void.

However, once you lodge a 130Y certificate, you cannot retract the certificate (ie you cannot opt out of the public funding scheme once you have opted in, and you will be bound by the expenditure caps should you nominate as a candidate at the 2018 State election).

For more information on the public funding scheme and capped political expenditure, please visit the Applying for Public Funding and Political Expenditure Caps pages. Please do not hesitate to contact the Funding and Disclosure Branch with any questions, on 08 7424 7400.