Chapter 5.1: Electoral Finance

Background

In 2018, ABC Fact Check found Tasmania’s donation laws would become the weakest in the country after the Victorian Government made reforms.[1] In the two years since, Victoria has reformed their laws,[2] and New South Wales,[3] Queensland[4] and the Northern Territory[5] also passed reforms enhancing their political donations and expenditure framework.

Western Australia has progressed legislation to set expenditure limits and ban foreign donations.[6] This means Tasmania has dropped even further behind the rest of the country than when it was declared to have the weakest donation laws.

Figure 5.1.1: Comparison of electoral finance laws by jurisdiction[7]

 

Vic

NSW

Qld

WA

SA

NT

ACT

Aus

Tas

Donations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caps (per term/4 years)

$4,160

$26,400

$10,000

-

-

-

-

-

-

Disclosure threshold

$1,040

$1,000

$1,000

$2,500

$5,000

$1,500

$1,000

$13,500

$13,500

Third party donation limit

6

3

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Disclosure time

21 Days

Annual

7 Days

Annual

After Election

Annual

Annual

Annual

Annual

Third party regulation

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Donors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foreign

Banned

-

Banned

Banned

-

-

-

-

-

Property

-

Banned

Banned

-

-

-

-

-

-

Tobacco

-

Banned

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Gambling

-

Banned

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Expenditure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Party, per candidate

-

$132,600

$57,000

-

$100,000

-

$42,750

-

-

Party, per electorate

-

$66,400

$92,000

-

-

-

-

-

-

Party cap (X electorate)

-

$132,600

-

$125,000

$75,000

$40,000

-

-

-

Independent, per Seat

-

$198,700

$87,000

$125,000

$100,000

$40,000

$42,750

-

-

Public Funding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$ per first preference vote

$6.25[8]

$4.66[9]

$3.30[10]

$1.97[11]

$3.00[12]

-

$8.62[13]

$2.83[14]

-

Figure 5.1.1 shows Tasmania is the only state with no donation and expenditure laws (in addition to federal requirements), without a disclosure threshold that’s lower than the federal threshold, and without third party regulation.

Tasmania is one of only two states without expenditure limits during elections, and without public funding for election campaigns.

Cap on Donations

The argument for a limit on the value of donations is simple – money buys influence, and the larger the sum, the larger the influence. The Senate Committee into the Political Influence of Donations noted that although proving that donations buy political outcomes is difficult, the anecdotal evidence of this link is compelling.[15]

The relevance of the sum of money donated is well-summarised by the comments of an anonymous politician in a 2018 study –

“If someone donates $1000, they support you. If they donate $100,000, they’ve bought you.”[16]

Although the influence of smaller donations shouldn’t be discounted, as they can contribute to long-term relationship building[17] that influences policy in more subtle ways.

In 2018 a former Liberal Party Treasurer, Michael Yabsley, described habitual ‘soft corruption’ in the donations process – where donations are tied to for a commitment to meet with particular ministers or political leaders.[18] Yabsley called for a cap of $500.

The Senate Committee recognised any donations cap is relatively arbitrary, and on balance have recommended a donation cap of $3,000 per term per donor.[19]

Regulations to cap donations should have two broad objectives; to decrease the potential influence of a donor by limiting the size of donations, and to reduce the imbalance of a person or corporation’s ability to support political preferences based on wealth.

A $3,000 cap on donations in Tasmania would curtail the potential influence of any given donor, particularly as no cap currently exists. It also represents 0.375% of an $800,000 expenditure cap (Policy 5.1.4). A $3,000 cap would mean that risking the loss of revenue from a single donor would be more palatable for political parties.

The average amount Australians donated to charity in 2017-18 was $764.[20] This equates to $3,056 over a four-year term – close to the $3,000 donations cap proposed by the Senate Committee. While this does not perfectly level the playing field, it is a strong step towards limiting the unfair influence that comes with having higher income.

Cap political donations

Policy 5.1.1

A cap of $3,000, on aggregate political donations from the same source, per electoral term, will be introduced.

Eligibility for Political Donations

Various jurisdictions in Australia have banned donations from foreign actors, property, tobacco and gambling industries.

Figure 5.1.2: Comparison of electoral donation and expenditure laws by jurisdiction[21]

 

Vic

NSW

Qld

WA

SA

NT

ACT

Aus

Tas

Foreign Donors

Banned

-

Banned

Banned

-

-

-

Banned

-

Property Donors

-

Banned

Banned

-

-

-

-

-

-

Tobacco Donors

-

Banned

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Liquor and Gambling Donors

-

Banned

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Canadian donation laws go further, allowing only ‘natural persons’ who are citizens or permanent residents to donate to political parties.[22]

Similar provisions to prohibit donations from anyone not on the electoral roll were enacted in New South Wales in 2012. This law was overturned by the High Court in 2013.[23] The Court’s judgement was based on a failure to satisfy the Lange test[24], which requires that limits on freedom of political communication be –

“. . .reasonably appropriate and adapted, or proportionate, to serve a legitimate end in a manner which is compatible with the maintenance of the prescribed system of representative government.”[25]

The High Court found there was no clear purposes articulated for the prohibition, and on that basis rejected the provision as unconstitutional.[26] The provision itself was therefore not found to be intrinsically unconstitutional – rather NSW had not clearly stated the aims and evidence for that provision.

NSW also required a person to be registered on the electoral roll, whereas the Canadian laws only require a person to be a ‘natural person’ (i.e. not a corporation), as well as either a citizen or permanent resident, which are less restrictive requirements.

The objectives of each of these laws are clear – to prevent financial influence by attempting to buy a political outcome, and to prevent the privileged access to political influence that comes with corporations being able to donate money.

Limiting donations to natural persons

Policy 5.1.2

Political donations will only be allowed from ‘natural persons’ who are citizens or permanent residents.

Real-time Disclosure

Tasmania’s donation disclosure framework is currently only covered by inadequate federal legal requirements. Federal laws require reporting by February on the previous financial year’s donations. This means donations can take up to 18 months to be disclosed.[27]

There was general agreement among submitters to the 2018 Senate Inquiry that disclosure in real-time was the most desirable approach to donation disclosure.[28]

Real-time disclosure means setting a relatively brief timeframe from the time of receipt to the public disclosure of a donation. Under the current system, disclosure is at a fixed date (which could be well after an election) when a report of all donations required to be disclosed must be submitted.

Queensland requires donations to be disclosed 7 business days after being received, except in the 7 days before polling day when donations must be disclosed within 24 hours.[29] This ensures virtually all donations received before an election are publicly available for scrutiny.  Victoria, the only other state to adopt real-time disclosure laws, requires a 21-day timeframe,[30] which is not optimum for public scrutiny just prior to an election.

Tasmania’s election period is between 22 and 30 days before polling day.[31] If Victoria’s 21-day disclosure timeframe was adopted, somewhere around 70-95% of Tasmanian donations would not have to be disclosed before polling day.

Real-time disclosure of political donations

Policy 5.2.3

Tasmania will enact Queensland’s real-time disclosure framework, requiring donation disclosures 7 business days after receipt, and within 24 hours during the 7 days before election polling day.

Electoral Expenditure Caps

Tasmania and Victoria are the only Australian jurisdictions without expenditure caps for lower house elections (figure 5.1.3). Federal elections also do not have expenditure caps. Most jurisdictions impose a cap on spending for independent candidates, and a cap on parties (a dollar amount multiplied by the number of electorates the party has endorsed candidates within). This cap can often be distributed across electorates, in excess of a candidate’s electorate cap.

Other than the ACT, all jurisdictions differ from Tasmania in that they have single member electorates. Therefore, the prevailing formula would not work for Tasmania.

Figure 5.1.3: Comparison of electoral expenditure caps by jurisdiction[32]

 

Party / Candidate

Party / Electorate

Party Cap (X Electorate)

Independent

Members / Electorate

Electorates

Vic

-

-

-

-

1

88

NSW

$132,600

$66,400

$132,600

$198,700

1

93

Qld

$57,000

$92,000

-

$87,000

1

93

WA

-

-

$125,000

$125,000

1

59

SA

$100,000

-

$75,000

$100,000

1

47

NT

-

-

$40,000

$40,000

1

25

ACT

$42,750

-

-

$42,750

5

5

Aus

-

-

-

-

1

151

Tas

-

-

-

-

5

5

In 2013, the Electoral Amendment (Electoral Expenditure and Political Donations) Bill 2013 passed the Tasmanian House of Assembly, but stalled at the first reading stage in the Legislative Council.[33] The bill would have imposed expenditure caps of $75,000 for candidates and $750,000 for a party, increasing by $1,000 and $10,000 per year respectively.[34]

A key distinction between the Bill’s model and what occurs in other jurisdictions is the overall party cap is not tied to the number of candidates – or the number of electorates – in which a party runs.

At 2020, a cap under this proposed model of $810,000 would equate to a cap of either $162,000 per electorate; or $32,400 per candidate (if there were five candidates in an electorate).

In 2018, the Liberals, Labor and Greens all fielded five candidates in each electorate.[35] The other parties to run candidates were the Jacqui Lambie Network, T4T (Tasmanians 4 Tasmania), and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party.

Figure 5.1.4 shows these other parties were significantly short of the expenditure cap that would be applied if the 2013 proposal was adapted to either an electorate or candidate-based donation cap scheme.

Figure 5.1.4: Minor party 2018 election statistics[36]

Electorates

Candidates

Expenditure

Electorate Cap

Candidate Cap

T4T

2

4

$0

 $324,000

 $129,600

Jacquie Lambie Network

3

12

$93,255

 $486,000

 $388,800

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party

4

11

$59,314

 $648,000

 $356,400

The proposed party cap under the Electoral Amendment (Electoral Expenditure and Political Donations) Bill 2013 was ten times higher than an individual candidate cap. The average electorate expenditure would, therefore, allow for twice as much expenditure as an independent candidate to cover the campaigns of five party-endorsed candidates.

On an individual level this would provide for lower candidate expenditure for endorsed candidates compared to independents.

Given parties have access to professional electoral apparatus, dedicated volunteer workforces, and can promote a shared platform, this unproportionate system is justified on the grounds that it engenders more equity between independent and party candidates.

It is worth noting no independent candidate has been elected during a House of Assembly election since 1996, the last election before the House of Assembly was reduced from 35 to 25 seats.[37] Even prior to the 1998 reduction in seats, the election of independents was not common.[38]

The Electoral Amendment (Electoral Expenditure and Political Donations) Bill 2013 was consulted on and did not create any controversy.[39] Given the acceptance of the proposed expenditure cap, and the historic practical irrelevance of adjusting the cap formula based on the approach of other states, there is no need to alter the proposal.

Caps on electoral expenditure

Policy 5.1.4

Tasmania will enact the electoral expenditure rules intended to be imposed by the Electoral Amendment (Electoral Expenditure and Political Donations) Bill 2013, providing a cap of $81,000 for individual candidates and $810,000 for political parties in 2020, indexed by $1,000 and $10,000 respectively per year.

Public Funding of Election Campaigns

In Australia, public funding of election campaigns operates as a reimbursement of electoral expenditure based on the lower value of a dollar figure per first preference vote, or total electoral expenditure.[40] The intent of public funding is to level the playing field for candidates and reduce the reliance on, and influence from, private donations.[41]

Every Australian jurisdiction, other than Tasmania and the Northern Territory, has public funding of elections. Progress has been made in the Northern Territory, with a 2018 inquiry recommending public funding. The NT Government accepted this recommendation in principle, but has not yet enacted changes.[42]

The funding rate in jurisdictions ranges from $1.97 to $8.62 per first preference vote – averaging at $4.38. An estimate of the total coverage of electoral expenditure produces a range of 14% to 53%. The coverage, however, can be unpredictable from election to election. On 2020 numbers, the average maximum coverage rate was 35% across Australia (Figure 5.1.5), whereas an assessment using the same methodology in early 2019 found an average maximum coverage rate of 52%.[43]

Figure 5.1.5: Public funding of elections by jurisdiction[44]

Jurisdiction

Labor

Greens

Liberals

Total[45]

Voters[46]

Funding

Total Cost[47]

Coverage[48]

Australia

$50,767,513

$4,489,151

$43,537,437

$98,794,101

16,722,156

$2.83[49]

$47,323,701

48%

ACT

$2,668,439

$535,944

$1,790,105

$4,994,488

304,524

$8.62[50]

$2,624,997

53%

NSW

$18,153,347

$6,987,548

$48,364,378

$73,505,273

5,328,989

$4.66[51]

$24,833,089

34%

VIC

$29,109,394

$6,190,688

$32,720,536

$68,020,618

4,266,039

$6.25[52]

$26,662,744

39%

QLD

$15,908,937

$1,596,334

$16,842,285

$34,347,556

3,368,831

$3.30[53]

$11,117,142

32%

WA

$9,816,907

$1,943,644

$12,610,057

$24,370,608

1,693,059

$1.97[54]

$3,335,326

14%

SA

$4,914,699

$472,998

$7,957,593

$13,345,290

1,227,189

$3.00[55]

$3,681,567

28%

Average

 

 

 

 

 

$4.38

 

35%

Figure 5.2.6 presents the costs for public funding of House of Assembly elections in Tasmania, under various scenarios. The assessment examines a business as usual scenario, a party expenditure cap of $810,000 scenario, and an expenditure cap and $3,000 donations cap scenario. These three scenarios are tested against the Australian average funding rate of $4.38 per vote, the funding required to meet the Australian average coverage rate of 35%, and using the Australian rate of $2.83 per vote.

Figure 5.1.6: Public funding of elections in Tasmania by scenario

Labor

Greens

Liberals

Total[56]

Voters[57]

Funding

Cost[58]

Coverage[59]

Australian average funding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business as usual

$928,050

$547,059

$4,322,681

$5,797,790

390,450

$4.38

$1,710,171

29%

Expenditure cap

$810,000

$547,059

$810,000

$2,167,059

390,450

$4.38

$1,710,171

79%

Expenditure cap, donations cap

$690,722

$479,559

$810,000

$1,980,281

390,450

$4.38

$1,710,171

86%

Australian average coverage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business as usual

$928,050

$547,059

$4,322,681

$5,797,790

390,450

$5.20

$2,029,227

35%

Expenditure cap

$810,000

$547,059

$810,000

$2,167,059

390,450

$1.94

$758,471

35%

Expenditure cap, donations cap

$690,722

$479,559

$810,000

$1,980,281

390,450

$1.78

$693,098

35%

Australian rate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business as usual

$928,050

$547,059

$4,322,681

$5,797,790

390,450

$2.83

$1,104,974

19%

Expenditure cap

$810,000

$547,059

$810,000

$2,167,059

390,450

$2.83

$1,104,974

51%

Expenditure cap, donations cap

$690,722

$479,559

$810,000

$1,980,281

390,450

$2.83

$1,104,974

56%

Under an expenditure and donations cap scenario, the maximum costs range from $693,098 to $1,710,171 every four years, and the maximum coverage ratio ranges from 35% to 86%.

In determining an appropriate funding level, it is worth noting that the 2011 Inquiry into the funding of political parties and election campaigns by the Federal Parliament Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters found the public funding scheme at the time had not been effective at curbing the increase of election spending.[60] An assessment of expenditure since then suggests this is still the case.[61]

This suggests that in a vacuum, public funding has done little to curb the influence of political donations. However, the Federal scheme has not operated in an environment with strict expenditure and donation caps, or with bans on donations from corporate interests. The effect a public funding scheme would have, where other limits are in place, remains to be seen.

The committee did, however, recognise that repealing the scheme would have a detrimental effect on minor parties, suggesting that the objective of levelling the playing field has been effective.[62]

Adopting the Australian rate would provide Tasmania with the second lowest cost, after Western Australia, of any State scheme, while also providing the highest maximum coverage rate based on projections of 2018 expenditure under proposed new donation rules.

Considering the available evidence of effectiveness, the effect of other reforms, the costs to the public purse and expectations of the general public, tying the Tasmanian public funding rate to the Australian rate would be a reasonable first step.

Public Funding of Elections

Policy 5.1.5

A public funding scheme for House of Assembly elections will be introduced, providing a reimbursement at the Australian rate (currently $2.83 per first preference vote).

Each jurisdiction where public funding for elections occurs requires a minimum of 4% of the primary vote for eligibility,[63],[64],[65],[66],[67],[68] with the exception of 6% in Queensland.

The 4% minimum vote threshold was criticised by the Federal Parliament Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, which noted

“minor parties and independent candidates can attract significant electoral support without passing the 4 per cent threshold for receiving public funding.”[69]

The only rational for a threshold canvassed by the committee was for cost-saving purposes.[70]

Public funding schemes are based on a monetary value being assigned to a first preference vote, as such there is a strict ceiling (the number of enrolled voters) on amounts payable. Excluding eligibility on the basis of a voting threshold therefor has minimal implications for public cost, but may deter potential candidates who are not in a financial position to risk not qualifying for a rebate.

Figure 5.1.7: Candidates receiving less than 4% of vote in 2018 House of Assembly elections[71]

Bass

Braddon

Denison

Franklin

Lyons

Total

Brett Edwards

597

597

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers

1611

1190

2041

2798

7,640

T4T

276

709

985

Brenton Best

593

593

Craig Garland

1967

1,967

Liz Hamer

141

141

Tenille Murtagh

153

153

Kim Peart

 

 

 

 

158

158

Total

12,234

Figure 5.3.3 examines candidates and political parties that received less than 4% of the vote on aggregate across the electorates they ran candidates in during the 2018 House of Assembly election. The total number of votes that would have been excluded for payment under a 4% scheme was 12,234 out of 334,871 total formal votes.

Under a $2.83 per first preference vote scheme a 4% threshold would have saved $34,622 from a total $947,684 bill. This is a paltry 3.6% saving.

Eligibility Threshold for Public Funding of Elections

Policy 5.1.6

The public funding scheme for House of Assembly elections will not require candidates or parties to achieve a certain proportion of first preference votes in order to be eligible for reimbursement.

Third Parties and Enforcement

Many of the reasons for reform of electoral finance laws in relation to political candidates and parties also apply to third parties. Third parties can also be used in an attempt to circumvent electoral laws.[72] For electoral finance regulation to operate effectively, there needs to be appropriate enforcement mechanisms and financing of enforcement activities.[73]

Third Parties and Enforcement

Policy 5.1.7

Third party regulations, offences, and consequential regulations will be developed to remove loopholes and maximise the effect of electoral finance regulations.

 



[1] ABC News, Fact check: Does Tasmania have the weakest political donation laws in the nation?, Feb 2018.

[2] ABC News, Victoria's got strict new laws on political donations but what does it mean?, Jul 2018.

[3] Parliament of Australia, Election funding and disclosure in Australian states and territories: a quick guide, Nov 2018.

[4] ABC News, Political donations and election spending capped in Queensland as 'historic' laws pass Parliament, Jun 2020.

[5] ABC News, The NT political donations system has changed. But do the changes go far enough?, Aug 2020.

[6] Parliament of Western Australia, Electoral Amendment Bill 2020, Bill Progress.

[7] Data Source: Information compiled from a range of pages from each jurisdiciton’s respective Electoral Commission.

[8] Victorian Electoral Commission, Yearly indexation of funding and donation thresholds 2018-2022, 2020.

[9] NSW Electoral Commission, Election Campaigns Fund, 2020.

[10] Electoral Commission Queensland, Fact sheet 20 - State elections: Election Funding Claims, 2020.

[11] Western Australian Electoral Commission, Reimbursement of Electoral Expenditure, 2020.

[12] Electoral Commission South Australia, Applying for public funding, n.d.

[13] ACT Electoral Commission, Election funding, 2020.

[14] Australian Electoral Commission, Election funding rates, 2020.

[15] Senate Committee into the Political Influence of Donations, Senate Committee into the Political Influence of Donations: Final Report, Chapter 3: Political donations: A corrupting influence?, Parliament of Australia, 2018.

[16] Kypros, J McCambridge, N Robertson, F Martino, M Daube, P Adams, and P Miller, “If someone donates $1000, they support you. If they donate $100,000, they’ve bought you.” Mixed methods study of tobacco, alcohol and gambling industry donations to Australian political parties, Drug and Alcohol Review, Vol. 38, 2018.

[17] Ibid, p. 17.

[18] S Dingle and D Lewis, Liberal Party statesman calls for political donations reform as report highlights millions gifted anonymously, ABC News, Oct 2018.

[19] Senate Committee into the Political Influence of Donations, Senate Committee into the Political Influence of Donations: Final Report, Chapter 6 Safeguarding integrity, Parliament of Australia, 2018.

[20] Philanthropy Australia, Giving in Australia: the fast facts, Sep 2020.

[21] Data Source: Information compiled from a range of pages from each jurisdiciton’s respective Electoral Commission.

[22] Library of Congress, Regulation of Campaign Finance and Free Advertising: Canada, 2020.

[23] High Court of Australia, Unions NSW v New South Wales, 2013, HCA 58.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Senate Committee into the Political Influence of Donations, Senate Committee into the Political Influence of Donations: Final Report, Chapter 5: Barriers to transparency, Parliament of Australia, 2018, p. 74.

[28] Ibid, p. 75.

[29] State of Queensland, Electoral Regulation 2013.

[30] State of Victoria, Electoral Act 2002, Part 12, Division 3, pp. 252-256.

[31] State of Tasmania, Electoral Act 2004, s. 70.

[32] Data Source: Information compiled from a range of pages from each jurisdiciton’s respective Electoral Commission.

[33] Parliament of Tasmania, Electoral Amendment (Electoral Expenditure and Political Donations) Bill 2013, 2013 Bills.

[34] Parliament of Tasmania, Electoral Amendment (Electoral Expenditure and Political Donations) Bill 2013.

[35] Tasmanian Electoral Commission, 2018 State Election Results.

[36] Australian Electoral Commission, Political Party Returns, AEC Transparency Register.

[37] Tasmanian Electoral Commission, Parliamentary Elections Report (1995 - 1997), 1997.

[38] Tasmanian Electoral Commission, Previous Parliamentary Election Reports from 1909 to 2014.

[39] Parliament of Tasmania, Electoral Amendment (Electoral Expenditure and Political Donations) Bill 2013 Fact Sheet, 2013.

[40] Australian Electoral Commission, Election funding, 2020.

[41] Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, Inquiry into the funding of political parties and election campaigns, Chapter 6, Parliament of Australia, 2011.

[42] S Vivian, The NT political donations system has changed. But do the changes go far enough?, ABC News, August 2020.

[43] Tasmanian Greens MPs, Electoral Act Review Submission, 2019.

[44] Note: assessment done on an ‘if an election was held today’ basis, assumes donations equal to jurisdiction’s previous election.

[45] Australian Electoral Commission, AEC Transparency Reigster, 2019.

[46] Australian Electoral Commission, Size of the electoral roll and enrolment rate 2020, 2020.

[47] Note: this is a maximum cost, and would be lower due to voter turn out, inelligible votes, candidates not reaching a threshold, and the distribution of votes not perfectly aligning with electoral expenditure.

[48] Note: this is a maximum coverage rate, and would be lower due to voter turn out, inelligible votes, candidates not reaching a threshold, and the distribution of votes not perfectly aligning with electoral expenditure.

[49] Australian Electoral Commission, Election funding rates, 2020.

[50] ACT Electoral Commission, Election funding, 2020.

[51] NSW Electoral Commission, Election Campaigns Fund, 2020.

[52] Victorian Electoral Commission, Yearly indexation of funding and donation thresholds 2018-2022, 2020.

[53] Electoral Commission Queensland, Fact sheet 20 - State elections: Election Funding Claims, 2020.

[54] Western Australian Electoral Commission, Reimbursement of Electoral Expenditure, 2020.

[55] Electoral Commission South Australia, Applying for public funding, n.d.

[56] Australian Electoral Commission, AEC Transparency Reigster, 2019. Note: donations cap calculated on available  information.

[57] Australian Electoral Commission, Size of the electoral roll and enrolment rate 2020, 2020.

[58] Note: this is a maximum cost, and would be lower due to voter turn out, inelligible votes, candidates not reaching a thresshold, and the distribution of votes not perfectly aligning with electoral expenditure.

[59] Note: this is a maximum coverage rate, and would be lower due to voter turn out, inelligible votes, candidates not reaching a threshold, and the distribution of votes not perfectly aligning with electoral expenditure.

[60] Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, Inquiry into the funding of political parties and election campaigns, Chapter 6, Parliament of Australia, 2011.

[61] Australian Electoral Commission, AEC Transparency Reigster, 2019.

[62] Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, Inquiry into the funding of political parties and election campaigns, Chapter 6, Parliament of Australia, 2011.

[63] Australian Electoral Commission, Election funding, 2020.

[64] ACT Electoral Commission, Election funding, 2020.

[65] Western Australian Electoral Commission, Reimbursement of Electoral Expenditure, 2020.

[66] Electoral Commission South Australia, Applying for public funding, n.d.

[67] Victorian Electoral Commission, Funding, 2020.

[68] NSW Electoral Commission, Election Campaigns Fund, 2020.

[69] Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, Inquiry into the funding of political parties and election campaigns, Chapter 6, Parliament of Australia, 2011.

[70] Ibid.

[71] Tasmanian Electoral Commission, 2018 State Election Results, 2018.

[72] Senate Committee into the Political Influence of Donations, Senate Committee into the Political Influence of Donations: Final Report, Chapter 4:Third Party Regulation, Parliament of Australia, 2018, p. 45.

[73] M Anderson, J C Tham, Z Nwokora, A Gauja, S Mills, N Miragliotta, Less Money, Fewer Donations: The Impact of New

South Wales Political Finance Laws on Private Funding of Political Parties, Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 77 (4), p. 810.