Infringement notice issued to Canberra Liberals for late disclosure returns

Published 2 Dec 2013

An infringement notice has been issued to the Canberra Liberals for the party’s late submission of electoral financial disclosure returns, the ACT Electoral Commissioner, Phillip Green, said today.

“Since the start of this financial year, the Canberra Liberals have submitted 15 gift returns outside of the 30 day disclosure period allowed by the Electoral Act,” Mr Green said. “The late submission of each return carries a penalty of $1,100. The total amount owing is $16,500.”

Under changes to the Electoral Act that came into effect on 1 July 2012, party groupings in the ACT are required to submit a financial disclosure return within 30 days of receiving a gift totalling $1,000 or more. Where a party has formally appointed a reporting agent, he or she is responsible for submitting these returns to the Electoral Commissioner.

“This is the first time we have issued an infringement notice for late returns,” Mr Green said. “During the first year of operation of the new laws, Elections ACT worked with all the ACT’s political parties to equip them with the ability to meet the strict disclosure deadlines set by the Legislative Assembly.”

“From 1 July 2013, parties have been on notice that failure to meet the disclosure deadlines without reasonable excuse would lead to enforcement action. This current case is the first instance where I have considered it appropriate to issue an infringement notice,” Mr Green said.

The party’s reporting agent now has 28 days in which to pay the monetary penalties set out in the notice, to appeal the notice or to apply for an extension of time to finalise payment.

The returns to which the infringement notice relates can be inspected on the ACT Electoral Commission’s website or in person at the office of the Electoral Commissioner on the Ground Floor, North Building, Civic Square, London Circuit, Canberra City between 9:00am and 5:00pm on weekdays. For public enquiries phone 6205 0033.