State campaign accounts
A state campaign account is one or more accounts set up to keep money associated with state elections. It also separates political donations from funds used for administration, operations, Federal elections or other activities.
Part 12 of the Electoral Act 2002 prescribes how the state campaign account must be used.
Recipients must have at least one state campaign account. A recipient is any:
- registered political party
- candidate at a Victorian State election
- group of Legislative Council (Upper House) candidates at a Victorian State election
- elected member of the Victorian Parliament
- associated entity operating in Victoria
- nominated entity of a registered political party
- third-party campaigner operating in Victoria.
State campaign accounts must be set up with a financial institution, such as a bank or credit union. This institution must be an authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI) listed on the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).
You can have one or more state campaign accounts. You must ensure that funds are:
- transferred in and out of all these accounts in accordance with the funding and disclosure laws outlined in the Act
- disclosed in the appropriate annual return.
We keep a record of state campaign accounts established by recipients to meet their funding and disclosure obligations. We ask recipients to provide the account name, the BSB and the account number for each of their state campaign accounts and to advise us of any future changes to this information. Recipients must let us know of any changes in writing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recipients are responsible for establishing and managing the state campaign accounts. If you have appointed an agent to act on your behalf they are responsible for managing your state campaign account.
All public funding we give you must be paid into your state campaign account. More information about types of funding.
You must not pay into your state campaign account:
- political donations received for Commonwealth (Federal) elections
- administrative expenditure funding payments
For registered political parties:
- annual party membership fees
- annual party affiliation fees paid by an associated entity
- annual party levies paid by:
- elected members
- staff of the elected member (including electoral officers)
- employees or elected officials of the party.
- administrative expenditure funding payments
- policy development funding payments.
Associated entities and third-party campaigners should not deposit membership fees or an annual levy payments into your state campaign accounts. If they do these payments will be treated as political donations. Donations may need to be disclosed on VEC Disclosures by the donor and the recipient.
Associated entities and third-party campaigners tell their members and employees if they will be using membership fees or levies for political expenditure. This classifies this money as a political donation.
Political expenditure must be paid for out of your state campaign account.
The Act does not exclude any payments from being made from the state campaign account. However, the primary purpose of the state campaign account is to manage money associated with state elections and separate political donations from funds used for administration, operations, Commonwealth elections, or other activities.
Electoral expenditure can be paid out of the state campaign account or another account managed by the recipient.
Summary of requirements
Paid into state campaign account
Paid from state campaign account
Legally political donations do not need to be directly paid into your state campaign account. Your agent is responsible for ensuring political donations are kept in the state campaign account.
While it is not required by law, we recommend paying all donations into your state campaign account.
There are penalties if administrative expenditure funding payments are paid or transferred into your state campaign account. The penalty amount is twice the payment made.
For example, Party A transfers $1000 of administrative expenditure funding into their state campaign account. The penalty paid to us is $2000.
We can reduce your next administrative expenditure funding payment by the penalty amount, or you can request an invoice from us to pay this penalty.
Other funds paid into the state campaign account will be considered donations and must be disclosed to us. This includes annual subscription fees or levies paid to an associated entity or third-party campaigner.
If any Commonwealth electoral funding is accidentally paid into the state campaign account it may be considered a political donation under the Act. Political donations must be disclosed to us on VEC Disclosures and in the appropriate annual return.