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Candidates charged over donation return non-disclosures

The Local Government Inspectorate has charged two candidates in the 2016 elections for Moreland and Moonee Valley councils.

It is alleged that Moreland Council candidate David Nunns and Moonee Valley Council candidate Miriam Gillis failed to declare donations from the Municipal Employees Union Fund, which is associated with their employer, the Australian Services Union (ASU).

It is also alleged that Gillis failed to disclose a gift or donation in the form of printing services from the ASU.

Neither candidate was elected.

Gillis is facing two charges under section 62(7)(a) of the Local Government Act 1989, and Nunns one charge, for submitting a return containing false or misleading information. The maximum penalty for each charge is 60 penalty units ($9,671.40 as of 1 July 2018).

Chief Municipal Inspector David Wolf said: “The lengthy investigation was launched after irregularities were allegedly found in the two candidates’ election campaign donation returns, which all Victorian council candidates are required to submit within 40 days of a general election.”

“A key factor in the integrity of local government is ensuring transparency on who has financially supported candidates and councillors. ”

As part of its role in monitoring elections, the Inspectorate is responsible for checking the submission and accuracy of returns.

The accused have both been summonsed to appear at the Broadmeadows Magistrates Court on Wednesday 15 May 2019.