On 15 September 2008, new laws will commence requiring DAs
and rezoning applications to be accompanied by a declaration
disclosing political donations and certain gifts over $1000.
The declaration will need to cover donations made by the
applicant, landowners, and any person with a financial interest
in the development.
Interestingly, Disclosure requirements also apply to
individuals or entities lodging submissions in objection or
support to DAs and rezoning applications.
The relevant time period in which these disclosures are to
be made commences 2 years before the application is made
and ends when the application is determined.
The Local Government and Planning Legislation Amendment
(Political Donations) Act 2008 will require the disclosure
by applicants or persons making submissions in respect of
relevant planning applications of:
political donations to a party, elected member, group or
candidate of $1000 or more (or smaller donations totaling
$1000 or more);
gifts as defined by the Election Funding and
Disclosures Act 1981
If the application or submission made is only to a local
council, the disclosure need only be for political donations or
gifts made to any local councilor or council employee
– not to State government politicians.
"Gifts" are broadly defined to mean "any
disposition of property made by a person to another person,
otherwise than by will, being a disposition made without
consideration in money or money's worth or with
adequate consideration, and includes the provision of a service
(other than volunteer labour) for no consideration or for
inadequate consideration." (Part 6 Election
Funding and Disclosures Act 1981).
The disclosures required from 15 September will need to
development applications to the Minister or local
Part 3A applications, or requests to have proposals
declared to be Part 3A projects, to the Minister or the
requests to make an environmental planning instrument
Fines of up to $22,000 and imprisonment can apply in the
event of non-compliance, but only where "it is reasonable
for [the applicant] to know that such reportable donations or
gifts should have been disclosed".
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