The Australian federal political funding and disclosure system has two main components:
- a disclosure scheme including annual disclosure of total receipts, total payments, total debts and donations above the disclosure threshold (currently $13,500, indexed annually) for parties and associated entities, annual returns for donors and third party campaigners, and election disclosures for candidates, which are made public, and
- a public funding scheme where parties and candidates are paid an amount per vote (currently 268.332 cents, indexed annually) when they receive over four per cent of the primary vote in their electorate.
The modern Australian federal funding and disclosure system, including the requirement for political parties to declare political donations, was first legislated in 1983 as an amendment to the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (CEA). These provisions, now contained in Part XX of the CEA, have evolved somewhat over time, although the basic operation of the system has remained similar.