Candidates at Northern Territory Legislative Assembly elections and by-elections must lodge an election return.

A return MUST be completed and lodged even if the candidate has nothing to disclose.

What is reported?

  • Total gifts with details of each person or organisation donating $200 or more
  • Total number of persons and organisations who made gifts
  • In-kind gifting of goods, assets and services that were free or below true market value – except volunteer work.
  • Details of loans of $1500 or more, and
  • Details of all expenditure according to categories (broadcasting, publishing, display advertising, campaign material, direct mailing, opinion polling/research)

Reporting period/due date for lodgement

Reporting period commences:

  • For an independent candidate – on the day candidature is announced or the day nominated, whichever is the earlier
  • For a newly endorsed party candidate – from the date of endorsement, and
  • For a candidate from the previous election nominating again – 30 days after the previous polling day.

For all candidates:

  • Reporting period ends 30 days after polling day
  • Return must be lodged within 15 weeks of polling day, and
  • Returns are available for public inspection at NTEC offices and summaries on this website from the start of the twenty-fifth week after polling day.


  • Candidates must appoint an agent to report or undertake to report him/herself
  • The onus is on the person disclosing to get it right
  • If endorsed by a registered political party, donations and expenditure made to the party are reported by the party and not by the candidate
  • It is illegal to accept donations of $200 or more anonymously
  • Disclosure amounts are inclusive of GST
  • There is no limit on donations or expenditure, and
  • A nil return is required even if there is nothing to disclose.

Donors to parties and candidates

People and organisations making donations to candidates may be required to submit a return – more information is available under financial disclosure – donors to parties and candidates.