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Register of disclosure of reportable political donations to Councillors
Amendments made to the Local Government Act 1993 and Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 in relation to political donations and gifts became effective 1 October 2008.
These amendments introduce obligations on applicants, those making submissions and decision makers in relation to the disclosure of information relating to political donations and gifts during the plan making or development assessment process.
When must an applicant/proponent make a disclosure?
A disclosure must be made by any person who has a financial interest in a planning application and who has made a reportable political donation in the 2 years before a planning application is made and/or determined.
When must a person making a submission make a disclosure?
Any submissions must include disclosure of any reportable political contribution or gift made in the previous two years, and up to the time the application is determined, by you or your associate to anyone including:
A reportable political donation made to a local councillor of any local council includes any donation made at the time the person was a candidate for election to the council.
What is a relevant planning application?
The disclosure requirements under the new legislation are triggered by the making of relevant planning applications and relevant public submissions on such applications.
The term relevant planning application means:
but does not include:
The term relevant public submission means a written submission made by a person objecting to or supporting a relevant planning application or any development that would be authorised by the granting of the application.
You are advised that a person is guilty of an offence under s125 of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 if the person fails to make a disclosure of a reportable political donation or gift if it is reasonable for that person to know such a reportable donation or gift should have been disclosed. It is also an offence to make a false statement. Currently, the maximum penalty is $22,000 or imprisonment for 12 months, or both.
If you require any further information as to the definition of terms used, or clarification of your obligations, the Guideline produced by the Department of Planning & Infrastructure or a printed copy obtained from Council's Environmental, Planning & Building Services Department.