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Special Assistance Funding

Special assistance funding is a form of public funding under Division 5 of the Electoral Act 1985

It is available to be paid as a half yearly entitlement to eligible registered political parties who claim reimbursement of administrative expenditure.

Registered political parties must meet the following eligibility criteria to receive special assistance funding:

  • At least 1 member of the party must have been a member of the Parliament of South Australia for all or part of the half-yearly period; and
  • The party must have been a registered political party on polling day for the last preceding general election and continued to be registered for all of the half-yearly period; and
  • The agent of the party submitted a valid claim to the Electoral Commissioner setting out the administrative expenditure incurred by the party during that half-yearly period.

Special assistance funding claims under Division 5 are limited to the following maximum amounts:

  • For a party with 5 or fewer members of Parliament - $35,000 (indexed)
  • For a party with 6 or more members of Parliament - $60,000 (indexed)

Since Part 13A came effect, the Electoral Commissioner has paid the amounts shown in the table below for special assistance funding claims.

Funding Assist 2020

Special assitance paid to date  $1,519,999.86

One-off special assistance funding

Section 130UA was inserted into the Electoral Act 1985 on 9 June 2017 and expired on 31 August 2017. This section permitted eligible registered political parties to claim a one-off payment of special assistance funding for prescribed administrative expenditure for the purpose of complying with Part 13A of the Act.

Eligible registered political parties who wished to make a claim were required to submit a claim in writing to the Electoral Commissioner by 31 July 2017.  This section limited the claim to the following maximum amounts:

  • For parties with 5 or fewer members of Parliament - $56,000
  • For parties with 6 or more members of Parliament - $96,000

The Electoral Commissioner paid the amounts shown in the table below for one-off special assistance payment in 2017. These payments were in addition to any entitlements to half yearly payments of special assistance funding paid under Division 5 of the Act.

Party Claim
Australian Labor Party $96,000.00
Liberal Party $96,000.00
The Greens $10,013.79
Dignity Party $43,861.44
Total $245,875.23

Records and evidence

This information is about keeping records and providing evidence.

For more information, refer to Part 13A of the Electoral Act 1985.

Record keeping

If you have a document that contains information relating to a matter that has been or should be set out in a return lodged with the Electoral Commissioner, you are required to retain those records for at least four years. The four year period starts on the day of the election to which the return relates.

 Refer to section 130ZZA for further information.

Recording gifts and loans

A relevant entity, candidate or group is not permitted to receive a gift with an amount or value of $200 or more without recording the name and address of the donor (section 130ZJ).

See our Glossary page for the definition of a gift.

A relevant entity, candidate or group is not permitted to receive a loan of $1,000 or more, other than from a financial institution, without recording the terms of the loan and information regarding the name and address of the lender. Section 130ZK(3) outlines the information that must be recorded about the lender.

‘Financial institution’ is defined at section 130ZK(8).

A ‘loan’ means any of the following:

  • An advance of money.
  • A provision of credit or any other form of financial accommodation.
  • A payment of an amount for, on account of, on behalf of or at the request of, a person, if there is an express or implied obligation to repay the amount.
  • A transaction (whatever its terms or forms) which in substance effects a loan of money.

See section 130ZK(8).

If credit is provided on a credit card in respect of card transactions, the credit is to be treated as a separate loan for each transaction. ‘Credit card’ is defined at section 130ZK(8).

In the case of a gift or loan received from certain types of entities, you must also record the names of all trustees, members of the board or executive committee (as the case may be). For more information, refer to sections 130ZJ and 130ZK.

Gifts and loans of $5,000 (indexed) or less are not required to be disclosed in a return; however, you must still maintain the required records.

Providing evidence

The Electoral Commissioner has powers to require a person to produce documents or appear at a specified time and place to provide evidence. The Electoral Commissioner will issue the person with a formal notice if the person is required to produce documents or give evidence. There is a $5,000 maximum penalty for failing to comply with a notice or providing false or misleading evidence.

Refer to section 130ZZB for further information.

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