Changes to disclosure requirements

Legislative changes regarding requirements for the disclosure of political contributions, electoral expenditure, and for political participants in an election, will come into effect from 1 July 2024. This follows recent State Government amendments in the Electoral Amendment (Finance and Other Matters) Act 2023.

The legislative changes will affect:
•    political entities
•    political contributions
•    disclosure of political contributions
•    State campaign accounts
•    caps on electoral expenditure
•    third-party campaigners

Political entities

A political entity is one of the following:
•    political party, registered or unregistered
•    associated entity
•    Member of Parliament
•    candidate in an election
•    Legislative Council group in an election
•    third-party campaigner

Political entities will have obligations to disclose political contributions, maintain an account for electoral expenditure (State campaign account), and limit how much they can spend on their election campaigns. 

Political contributions

A political contribution is one of the following:
•    Gift: The transfer of property or a service without receiving something of equal or adequate value in return. It can include money, or gift-in-kind which is a non-monetary gift.

•    Affiliate fee: A fee that is paid to attach or connect to an associated entity or political party.

•    Compulsory party levy: An amount imposed by a political party.

Gifts do not include:
•    Annual subscriptions more than $200.
•    Gifts made in a private capacity for personal use. 

Political contributions that are not allowed to be accepted include:
•    foreign donations
•    anonymous donations more than $2,600.

A foreign donor is:
•    The government of a foreign city, state, or country.
•    A company or other body or association where a foreign country has:
•    more than 50% capital, voting power, or ability to appoint the board of directors; or
•    where the directors, or executive committee, must follow the instructions of a foreign government, or a foreign government can exercise control over the company or association; or 
•    where the company, body or association enjoys special legal tights, benefits, or privileges under a law of a foreign county.
•    A company or association (body) that is not incorporated in Australia, does not have its head office in Australia, and where the principal place of activity is not in Australia.
•    An individual who is not an elector, and Australian citizen or resident, and is not a New Zealand citizen with a Subclass 444 (Special Category) visa.

The legal definition of a foreign donor is provided under s.175 of the new legislation that can be found here: Electoral+Act+1907.pdf (

Disclosure of political contributions

Political contributions more than $2,600 (the specified amount) must be disclosed within the following periods:
•    Non-election period: within seven days of being received.
•    Election period (also called the capped expenditure period): by the end of the next business day after being received. 

The election period commences when a writ is issued for an election and ends at 6pm on polling day.

Political contributions that are equal to or less than $2,600 will only need to be disclosed if they are from the same political contributor and the combined value is more than $2,600. The amount that causes the contribution to exceed $2,600 is called a ‘trigger contribution’. Once a trigger contribution is obtained, all previous amounts and the trigger contribution will need to be disclosed.

The details of a political contribution that need to be disclosed include:
•    the amount or value of the contribution
•    the date the contribution was received
•    the name(s) and address(es) of the political contributor(s)
•    in the case of a compulsory party levy, the position held by the person who paid the levy. 

The political contributions that are disclosed are to be published as soon as practical after the details have been lodged with the Western Australian Electoral Commission. The address of a political contributor may be suppressed from publication if the contributor is a silent elector, or their personal safety would be at risk if their address were published. The onus is on the political entity to advise a political contributor their details will be made public unless the contributor advises the political entity their personal safety would be at risk. The political entity is also responsible for informing the Commission if the entity has been advised by a political contributor that publication of their details would pose a risk to their personal safety.
State campaign accounts

Political entities that intend to incur electoral expenditure will need to establish a State campaign account. Details of the account will need to be provided to the Commission within five days of the obligation being triggered, for example, because the party has been registered or a candidate has lodged their nomination with the Commission. All electoral expenditure is to be paid from the account.
There are certain types of funds that can paid into the account. These include:
•    political contributions
•    membership subscription fees
•    public funding payments
•    other income
•    interest paid on amounts in the account
•    return of nomination deposits

Funds that are not received for a State political purpose should not be paid into the account. 

Caps on electoral expenditure

Caps limit how much a political entity can spend on their election campaign. The limit applies to electoral expenditure incurred during the capped expenditure period, which commences once a writ is issued for an election and concludes at 6pm on polling day. Any expenditure paid for before the capped expenditure period will still count towards the cap if the expenditure is for goods or services used during the capped expenditure period. 

Limits for the 2025 State Election:

Political entity Cap 
Political Party $130,000 x the number of endorsed candidates for the Legislative Assembly
$65,000 x the number of endorsed candidates for the Legislative Council
Independent Legislative Assembly Candidate $130,000
Independent Legislative Council Candidate $65,000

Independent Legislative Council Group 
$65,000 x the number of candidates in the Group
Third party campaigner $500,000

An additional cap will apply to electoral material produced by registered political parties and third-party campaigners that:
•    mentions the name of a candidate;
•    is mainly communicated to electors in the candidate’s district (for Legislative Assembly Candidates only) 
•    is a consultant or advertising agent fee incurred specifically for the candidate.

Additional cap Political Party Third-Party Campaigner
Cap for Legislative Assembly Candidate $130,000
Cap for Legislative Council Candidate $65,000 $6,500

Third-party campaigners

A third-party campaigner is:
•    any individual, organisation or other entity that is not a registered political party, associated entity, candidate, Legislative Council Group or Member of Parliament; 
•    receives a gift for a political purpose;
•    incurs electoral expenditure in relation to an election. 

Third party campaigners will need to disclose gifts received for a political purpose within seven days outside of an election period, or by the next business day if the gift is received during the election period. The election period commences when the writ is issued for an election and concludes at 6pm on polling day.

If a third-party campaigner incurs more than $500 in electoral expenditure, in addition to the disclosure of political gifts received, they will need to:
•    register with the Commission
•    appoint an agent
•    establish a State campaign account
•    disclose electoral expenditure incurred.

Further information
Further detail can be found in a copy of the blue bill available from the WA Parliament website here: Electoral+Act+1907.pdf (