26 September 2023

Law puts caps on Council poll spending

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The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) has announced that caps on electoral spending at the Local Government level have come into force.

Following the passing of the Local Government Electoral and Other Legislation (Expenditure Caps) Amendment Act 2023 last month, the expenditure changes will affect councillors, candidates, groups of candidates, registered political parties and third parties.

Electoral Commissioner, Pat Vidgen said the introduction of expenditure caps for the first time in Local Government elections was supported by a range of new content and information which had been published on the ECQ website.

“These resources reinforce the ECQ’s approach to compliance for the 2024 Local Government elections to help candidates better understand their obligations,” Mr Vidgen said.

He said the legislative amendments would also mean registered political parties and third parties would need to keep a dedicated bank account for Local Government elections, while third parties (such as community organisations) would need to register if they planned to spend more than $6,000 in a Local Government election.

“The ECQ must follow a legislated process to determine the expenditure caps for the election of Mayoral and Councillor candidates in each Local Government area, and the caps will be based on enrolment figures as of 1 July 2023,” Mr Vidgen said.

“The new expenditure caps will be available by mid to late July,” he said.

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