This glossary provides a simplified definition of the terms used in legislation and other references. It should not be used as a reference for any purpose other than understanding of these specific terms as applied to EDS.
Terms that apply generally throughout EDS
Agent: The person appointed by a registered political party, associated entity, candidate or group of candidates to act on that entity’s behalf.
Associated Entity: An organisation controlled by one or more registered political parties, or that operates wholly or to a significant extent for the benefit of one or more registered political parties.
Auditor: A person who has the appropriate qualifications as an auditor and is not, and has never been, a member of a registered political party.
Broadcaster: An individual or organisation that broadcasts radio or television programs
Disclosure: A single entry or line item in a gift, loan or expenditure for political activity, or a complete periodic or election summary return, as submitted in EDS.
Disclosure period – new local government candidates: A candidate who is standing for election for the first time – the reporting period:
- starts the day the candidate announces or nominates as a candidate whichever comes first; and
- ends 30 days after polling day for the current election.
Disclosure period – previous state and local candidates and groups of candidates: A candidate who has announced their intention to nominate for an election and has contested an election within the last five years or is a group of candidates - the reporting period:
- starts 30 days after polling day for the previous election; and
- ends 30 days after polling day for the current election.
Disclosure period - new state candidates: A candidate who is standing for election for the for the first time - the reporting period:
- starts the day the candidate is either; preselected by their party, announces or nominates as a candidate whoch ever comes first; and
- ends 30 days after polling day for the current election.
Election Summary Return: A summary disclosure return is a submission which contains details of all gifts, loans or expenditure, completed via the EDS within 15 weeks after election day.
Electoral Expenditure: Is expenses incurred, including gift-in-kind, to support an election campaign, regardleess of when expense in incurred. Electoral expenses are costs helping to advocate for or against a candidate, group of candidates or political party and can include but in this contecxt, not limited to:
- the cost of producing and distributing political advertisements, whether broadcasted,
published in physical form or electronically, displayed at a theatre or other place of
entertainment (e.g. television advertising, social media advertising; or
- the cost of producing and distributing any advertisement or election material requiring the
name and address of the person authorising the material (e.g. flyers, pamphlets
handbills, how-to-vote cards); or
- carrying out an opinion poll or research to promote or influence voting (e.g. phone polling,
data analysis, focus groups).
Electoral expenditure is incurred at the time when the goods or services are provided. For example, expenditure on advertising is incurred when the advertisment is broadcast, published or posted online and expenditure on election material is incurred when the material is distributed.
Note: ‘Electoral expenditure’ differs from ‘Political expenditure’. Refer to the definition of
Political expenditure for details.
Candidates, groups of candidates, registered political parties and associated entities who
incur electoral expenditure of $500 or more must provide a return to the ECQ. The return
must be in the approved form and given to the ECQ by the disclosure due date for the return,
• the name and business address of the person who supplied the goods or service to which
the expenditure relates;
• a description of the goods or service;
• the amount of the electoral expenditure;
• when the expenditure was incurred; and
• the purpose for incurring the expenditure.
A summary expenditure return states the total amount of electoral expenditure the electoral
participant incurred during the disclosure period for the election together with a copy of a
bank statement with their summary return
Financial controller: The person responsible for keeping an organisation’s financial records.
Financial institution: A bank, building society or credit union.
Fundraising contribution: An amount paid by an individual as a contribution, entry fee or other payment (e.g. raffle or auction) that allows that individual to participate in a fundraising event.
Any fundraising contribution over the Gift Threshold must be reported.
Gift/Gift in kind : The giving of money, property, uncharged interest on a loan, the provision of a service (either paid or unpaid) to assist a person, any part of a fundraising contribution or any transaction entered into by a person to increase the value of the property of another person. I.e. where goods and services are provided instead of money.
This does not include bequests from a will, the provision of volunteer labour or the incidental use of a volunteer’s vehicle or equipment, nor does it include a gift if made in a private capacity for personal use.
Users are referred to the Electoral Act 1992 and the Local Government Electoral Act 2011 for determination of what is, or is not, a reportable gift.
Gift threshold: The value above which gifts must be reported in EDS, as described in the Electoral Act 1992 and the Local Government Electoral Act 2011.
Gift Value: The amount of money, market value of property, the amount that would reasonably be charged for provision of a service if provided on a commercial basis, or (if the gift is payment for attendance at an event) the gross amount payed, regardless of anything received in consideration of the payment.
Loan: The lending of money, provision of credit or the like to a candidate, group of candidates, associated entity or registered political party, that is required to be repaid but was not provided by a bank, credit union or building society.
NCR/No Corresponding Return: A disclosure return that does not require a corresponding return to be submitted.
Pending: A disclosure that is to the subject of an amendment or deletion request as initiated by a registered EDS user. Pending disclosures are not visible to the public and are not included in reports or map results.
Political activity / Political purpose: Means, during a local or state election:
- Publication of election related material (e.g. digital or print publications or broadcast via television or radio),
- Public expression of views, or
- Gift/s donated to a candidate, political party or intermediary, to be used wholly or in part for that purpose
Political Entity: Candidates, candidate groups, political parties, associated entities, and their agents or representatives.
- Electoral Expenditure; or
- A gift made to or for the benefit of:
- a political party;
- a candidate in an election; or
- a group of candidates for an election, a member of the group or a person acting on behalf of the group; or
- A gift made to another person on the understanding that the person, or another person uses the gift (directly or indirectly) to incur expenditure in support of an election campaign
Note: ‘Political expenditure’ differs from ‘Electoral expenditure’. Refer to the definition of
Electoral expenditure for details.
- a property developer or their close associate; or
- an industry representative organisation, a majority of whose members are property
A property developer is a corporation engaged in a business that regularly involves the
making of relevant planning applications by or on behalf of the corporation:
- in connection with the residential or commercial development of land; and
- with the ultimate purpose of the sale or lease of the land for profit.
A close associate of a corporation means:
- a related body corporate of the property developer;
- a director or other officer of the property developer;
- a person with more than 20% of the voting power of the property developer or a related
- a spouse of a person described above;
- if the corporation or a related body corporation of the corporation is a stapled entity in
relation to a stapled security - the other stapled entity in relation to the stapled security;
- if the corporation is a trustee, manager or responsible entity in relation to a unit trust - a
person who holds more than 20% of the units in the trust; or
- if the corporation is a trustee, manager, or responsible entity in relation to a discretionary
trust - a beneficiary of the trust.
Publisher: An individual or organisation responsible for the printing and distribution of digital or printed publications.
Reconciled (REC): A reconciled return refers to a gift return that has matching details submitted by both the donor and the recipient. In this situation, reconciliation is automatic by the system.
Real time reporting period – gifts & loans: The period described in the Electoral Act 1992 and the Local Government Electoral Act 2011 after which all gifts and loans must be reported in EDS.
Real time reporting period – gifts that enable expenditure on political activity by third parties: The period described in the Electoral Act 1992 and the Local Government Electoral Act 2011 after which all gifts and loans must be reported in EDS.
Registered political party: An organisation whose object is election to the Legislative Assembly one or more candidates endorsed by the majority of members of the organisation, registered under the Electoral Act 1992.
Relevant details of a gift of loan
‘Relevant details’ of the gift or loan (other than from a financial institution) refer to the detailed
supporting information about a gift or loan that should be included in a disclosure return. The
relevant details that are required to be disclosed depend on the type of entity that made the
gift or loan.
Reporting period – registered political parties & associated entities: The reporting period for a registered political party is 8 weeks after a calendar reporting period ends, that being – 25 February and 25 August of each year.
Reporting period – previous candidates (local government): A candidate who, within the last 5 years before polling day, has previously stood for election – the reporting period:
- starts 30 days after the polling day of the most recent election (in which they stood); and
- ends 30 days after the polling day of the current election
Reporting period – publishers & broadcasters: Publishers must provide summary returns 8 weeks after polling day.
Return (Real-Time): A collection of gift, loan and expenditure for political activity entries that are entered into EDS as a single submission.
Return Due Date – candidates and candidate groups: A summary type return that must be provided to the Commission 15 weeks after polling day.
Return Due Date – political parties & associated entities: A summary type return that must be provided to the Commission 8 weeks after the end of the reporting period. I.e., 25th February and 25th August each year.
Return Due Date – publishers and broadcasters: A summary type return that must be provided to the Commission 8 weeks after polling day.
Source: You may be required to indicate in a return if the donor of a gift or loan is the source of the gift or loan.
A donor is not the source of a gift (the ultimate gift) if they received a gift or loan from someone else who purposely gave the gift or loan to enable the donor to make the ultimate gift to the recipient.
Similarly, a donor is not the source of a loan (the ultimate loan) if they received a gift or loan from someone else who purposely gave the gift or loan to enable the donor to make the ultimate loan to the recipient.
Third Party: Any person, organisation or group that is not (and is not the agent or representative of) a candidate, candidate group, political party or associated entity.
Unreconciled / UNREC: Matching details are yet to be submitted by both the donor and the recipient. This may mean either that only one entity has reported the gift, or that minor discrepancies exist in the returns that prohibit automatic reconciliation.
Volunteer labour: Labour provided free of cost as a gesture of good will by the person doing the labour.
The value of services provided by volunteer labour is not a gift for disclosure purposes.
Terms specific to the Electoral Act 1992, as applied to EDS
Candidate: A person who is nominated in an election to be elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (Parliament) and registered as such with ECQ.
(Registered) Political Party: An organisation whose object, or one of whose objects, is the promotion of a one or more candidates for election to the Legislative Assembly.
Reporting period – political party: The reporting period for a political party is the first and second half of the financial year. That is, 1st January to 30th June and 1st July to 31st December.
Special reporting event: Legislation requires that gifts of $100,000 or more be specifically reported as a ‘special’ gift. When a reported gift or donation exceeds $100,000 EDS will require that both the donor and recipient acknowledge that this is a special reporting event.
Terms specific to the Local Government Electoral Act 2011, as applied to EDS
Candidate: A person who is nominated in an election for the position of Councillor or Mayor and registered as such with ECQ.
Group of Candidates: A registered group of two or more candidates who plan to contest an election in the same local government area and engage in group campaign activities in an intentional and coordinated way. A political party cannot be considered a group, nor are they required to be.