Independent sources raise funding concerns, call for information to the AEC
This means that groups must register with the AEC as “significant third parties” if they spend more than $ 14,500 in election spending in a fiscal year in which that spending represents more than a third of their income, or if they exceed $ 14,500 Raise US dollars with the intention of spending the funds on electoral activities or donating the funds to another person to participate in electoral activities.
The law also requires groups to register if they have spent more than $ 250,000 in electoral spending in the current or any of the past three fiscal years.
While groups have 90 days to register, the government is telling MPs that many groups will meet the criteria the day after royal approval, which provides an opportunity to report on their activities to the AEC.
“This is not about preventing organizations from getting involved. This is about transparency for organizations trying to influence voters in an election, ”Morton wrote in an email leaked by others and sent to the media.
Mr Morton gave MPs the contact details in the AEC’s Disclosure and Compliance section so they could report any activists.
“If you are aware of organizations that might even marginally meet these criteria, I ask you to help the AEC identify them so that these organizations and / or individuals are informed as soon as possible of their registration requirements and the risk of substantial fines for any delay in registration, ”he wrote.
An independent candidate, Linda Seymour, who is running at the Hughes headquarters in southern Sydney, said she is asking the AEC to clarify the rules.
“Our expenses are well below the threshold, so we didn’t need them [reporting] earlier, ”she said.
Another sign of growing pressure on independents, the Voices of Boothby group named Jo Dyer, a key figure in the allegations made earlier this year against former Attorney General Christian Porter, as a candidate for the marginal South Australian electorate.
Ms. Dyer, the director of Adelaide Writers’ Week, spoke this year on behalf of a friend who claimed she was raped by Mr. Porter in January 1988. The girlfriend took her own life in June 2020. Mr. Porter vehemently denied the allegations.
Boothby Liberal nominee Rachel Swift is a former Rhodes Fellow with a PhD in clinical medicine with a background in the Boston Consulting Group and experience working with the United Nations to fight Ebola.
Climate 200 announced to the AEC its previous spending, including $ 354,000 in aid to independent candidates in the recent federal election. That included $ 40,000 for Julia Banks, $ 47,500 for Kerryn Phelps, $ 145,000 for Oliver Yates, and $ 35,000 for Helen Haines, who won the Indi seat.
Mr Holmes, a court of law, said the new law will have “no” impact on Climate 200.
But he’s also a director of the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network, a charity, and said he was concerned about the privacy threats posed by the new law.
“The effect on the public engagement of NGOs will be terrifying and retrospective [of the law] is a violation of environmental campaign donors’ right to privacy, ”he said.