A political party is an organisation that represents a group of people or set of ideas. Political parties work to have their members elected to parliament, so they can influence the making of laws and affect the way that the State is run.
Political parties often have branches all over Australia. Parties recruit members to these branches. Members can:
- suggest policies
- vote on who should be a candidate
- help run election campaigns.
After we receive an application to register a political party, it can take up to 4 months to complete the registration process.
As part of any application , a political party must provide a list of at least 500 eligible members. During the registration process, we write to everyone on that list and ask them to confirm they are eligible members of the party. If we cannot confirm that 500 people are eligible members, the party cannot be registered.
A registered officer is someone nominated by a party as the person responsible for its administrative work.
- nominating all endorsed candidates at a State election
- submitting Upper House group registrations at a State election
- acting as contact person for the party.
Registered officers are also responsible for the parties' funding and political donations compliance obligations. This is a serious responsibility, with severe penalties for providing incorrect or misleading information.
Registered officers are also responsible for:
- keeping detailed financial records
- maintaining the state campaign account
- disclosing all political donations using VEC Disclosures
- submitting annual returns
- lodging funding applications.
Each party may expect their registered officer to perform other tasks.
Registered political parties must disclose political donations over $1080. There are limits on donation amounts and who can make donations. Guidance on what is considered a political donation and when they must be disclosed is available on this website.
Political donations are publicly available on VEC Disclosures.
Funding is available for registered political parties to assist with the costs of running a political party. The administration of public funding is regulated under the Electoral Act 2002.
Registered political parties are required to submit an annual return to report on political expenditure. Annual returns are due on 20 October each year.