Page 735 - Week 02 - Thursday, 23 February 2012

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Subsection (2) of this provision sets out that these details are the date the gift is received, the amount of the gift and the specific details required under the act in relation to small anonymous gifts, including that the gift was made anonymously. For the purposes of section 216A, a receiver will include a non-party candidate, a non-party prospective candidate, a party, a non-party MLA and an associated entity. Section 220, as amended by the bill, imposes identical disclosure obligations on third-party campaigners to those imposed on receivers by section 216A.

The bill also closes the loophole in the current system that allows for the exploitation of the way in which the disclosure threshold operates. Currently, where a single donor provides a discrete donation that is under the disclosure threshold, this donation will not be subject to the disclosure requirements in the act.

In reality, this has meant that a donor may avoid the application of the disclosure requirements by making several discrete donations that together exceed the donation limit within the reporting year but which are not caught by it. The bill addresses this issue by providing that returns must be provided by the financial representative of a receiver who has received donations from a single donor that exceed the disclosure threshold for a reporting year. This requirement applies even if the discrete amounts donated do not exceed the threshold.

The bill also provides that the financial representative of a receiver that has not received donations in excess of the $1,000 limit must provide the Electoral Commissioner a return stating this within 60 days of polling day. The bill also shifts the reporting onus from those making electoral donations to those who receive them. This will remove the administrative burden imposed on donors in preparing returns for their donations and for the Electoral Commission in terms of auditing these returns.

This bill makes a number of other amendments to the act that together work with the reforms I have outlined today to improve the probity, transparency and fairness of the ACT’s electoral system. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne) adjourned to the next sitting.

Electronic Transactions Amendment Bill 2012

Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development) (12.16): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

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