The description of the terms in this glossary may differ from the formal meaning given to those terms in the Act.

Anonymous donations

Gifts where the donor’s name or address was not known to the person receiving the gift when the gift was made. (Anonymous donations of $1000 or more are debts to the Territory).

Associated entity

An organisation controlled by, or operating for, the benefit of one or more registered political parties.  This includes organisations that are independent of, but primarily for the benefit of a party.  It includes companies holding assets for a political party, investment or trust funds, and fundraising organisations, groups and clubs.

Broadcaster

The ABC, SBS and any holder of a licence within the meaning of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 or a provider of a broadcasting service under a class licence under that Act.

Campaign committees

The transactions of campaign committees of endorsed candidates must be included in the annual returns of a party.

Candidate

A person standing for election to the NT Legislative Assembly.

Capital contribution

A capital contribution is a deposit to the capital, equity or funds of an associated entity, for example an injection of shareholders’ funds into a company or a contribution to the principal of a trust.  A payment made to a registered political party from an associated entity must be disclosed as a capital contribution.

Cash accounting

Annual returns are to be compiled on a cash basis, that is only actual, completed transactions are disclosed.  A payment by cheque is reported when the cheque has been presented and money has actually changed hands, not when it is written.

Detailed disclosure

The full name, address and the total value of transactions must be disclosed for each person reaching the disclosure threshold for receipts or debts, and for all people making capital contributions.

Disclosure period for an election

Independent candidate – commences day candidature announced or day nominated, whichever is the earlier.

Newly endorsed party candidate – commences from the date of endorsement.

Candidate from the previous election nominating again – commences 30 days after the previous polling day.

Ends 30 days after polling day.

Disclosure threshold

Receipts of $1500 or more, debts totaling $1500 or more, and all capital contributions must be disclosed in detail.

The disclosure threshold under NT legislation is lower than that under Commonwealth provisions.

Donation

Any gift, whether of money or ‘gifts-in-kind’ for example a disposition of property or provision of a service for which no payment, or an inadequate payment, is received.  The term includes cash and non-cash/gift-in-kind transactions, but does not include commercial transactions or volunteer labour.  A discount given on an electoral advertisement which was not made on commercial grounds would be considered a donation.  Donations of $200 or more to a candidate or $1500 or more to a political party must be disclosed to the NT Electoral Commission on the appropriate return.

Donor

A person or organisation other than a registered political party and its associated entities, a candidate, broadcaster or publisher who is under an obligation to lodge a disclosure return for example donors of $1500 or more to political parties, and lobby groups advertising during an election campaign.

Election period

The period from the issue of the writ to the return of the writ inclusive.  Electoral advertisements broadcast or published during the election period must be disclosed in a return lodged with the NT Electoral Commission.

Electoral advertisement

An advertisement which is intended or likely to affect voting in an election.  It includes campaign advertisements run during the election period for political parties and candidates plus advertisements run by persons or organisations stating their position on an election issue and/or advocating that electors vote in a certain manner.  Electoral advertisements must be disclosed in a return lodged with the NT Electoral Commission.  Advertising by government agencies that contains electoral matter must also be disclosed.

Electoral expenditure

Electoral expenditure totaling $200 or more incurred on goods or services for the following categories of campaign expenditure must be disclosed following each election or by-election:

  • Broadcasting electoral advertisements
  • Publishing electoral advertisements
  • Displaying electoral advertisements
  • Production of campaign material
  • Direct mailing
  • Opinion polling and election research.

Electoral matter

Matter that is in printed or electronic form that is intended or likely to affect voting at an election.  It includes, but is not limited to, matter that contains an express or implicit reference or comment on the election, the performance of the Government or the opposition, the performance of an MLA or former MLA, the performance of a political party in the election or an issue submitted to, or otherwise before, the electors in relation to the election.

Financial controller

The person responsible for lodging the annual return of an associated entity.  The financial controller is the company secretary, the trustee of a trust or, in other cases, the person responsible for the accounting records.

Financial institution

A bank, credit union, building society or a special service provider registered with Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

Gazetted body

A person or body specified by the NT Electoral Commission in the Government Gazette.  Donations to a Gazetted body may need to be disclosed in a return to the Commission.

Gifts-in-kind

Non-cash donations for example receipt of assets or services, discounts other than in the normal course of business and non-commercial or excessive payment for goods or services (including membership) are cash donations for disclosure purposes.  Examples of gifts-in-kind may include free legal advice by a law firm and the donation of items or services as raffle prizes, but not volunteer labour of party members.

Gifts-in-kind must be disclosed at the appropriate value - normally this is the commercial or sale value of the item or service.

Internal party transactions

Transactions between party units within a NT political party.

  • Internal party transactions are NOT disclosed, and
  • Transactions with a party unit from the Federal or another State or Territory branch of the same party MUST be disclosed.

Journal

A newspaper, magazine or other periodical, whether published for sale or distribution without charge.

Loan

A loan is an advance of money, provision of credit or other financial accommodation, a payment with the expectation of repayment or a transaction, which has the effect of a loan of money.  A loan of $1500 or more must be disclosed (each credit card transaction is a single loan) as a receipt, and details of the source, terms, and conditions disclosed where the loan is not from a financial institution.

Party agent

A person appointed by notice in writing to the NT Electoral Commission by the relevant branch of the party.  A party agent does not automatically become an agent for candidates of the party.

Party unit

A generic term used to describe all sections of a political party including its local branches, and campaign committees.

Period of disclosure

Annual returns cover the financial year 1 July to 30 June.

Public inspection

Copies of all disclosure returns become available for inspection by the public at the NT Electoral Commission’s Darwin Office

  • Annual returns are available from 1 March, and
  • Election returns are available at the start of the 25th week after polling day.

Registered officer

The person registered with the NT Electoral Commission who has the authority to nominate candidates.  The nominated registered officer does not change until the NT Electoral Commission is formally notified of a replacement.

Registered political party

A political party registered with the NT Electoral Commission.  (Registration with a State/Territory electoral commission does not confer federal registration.)  Political parties not registered with the NT Electoral Commission are treated as donors for disclosure purposes.

Related bodies corporate

Related bodies corporate are considered to be a single entity for disclosure purposes.  Related status is determined under the Corporations Law.

‘Return’ form

A form in which a person with a disclosure obligation sets out the information required to be disclosed.  For example, the NT Electoral Act requires that disclosures of electoral advertisements be made on the prescribed form.  Forms and handbooks are available from the NT Electoral Commission or can be downloaded from the NTEC website.

Third parties

A term used to describe a person or organisation, other than a registered political party, candidate, associated entity, broadcaster or publisher, who is under an obligation to lodge a disclosure return for example donors of $200 or more to a candidate and/or lobby groups during an election campaign.

Transaction threshold

Only individual transactions of $1500 or more are counted when calculating the disclosure threshold for receipts.

Volunteer labour

Volunteer labour does not need to be disclosed as a donation. The donation of unpaid time by a person is considered volunteer labour where it is provided by an office-holder of the party or a party member, or any other person where that service is not one for which that person normally receives payment.