Campaign donation returns

Guidance material – Election Campaign Donation Returns

Election candidates are required under Victorian law to provide campaign donation returns. Under the Local Government Act 1989, all candidates in Victorian council elections must submit a return within 40 days of election day.

What is a Campaign Donation Return?

A campaign donation return (CDR) is a record of donations or gifts, including in-kind support, given to a candidate during the donation period. This is supplied to candidates as a form, enabling candidates to fill in details of donations or gifts they have received above the $500 threshold, as applicable under section 62 of the Local Government Act 1989.

Submitting a CDR

Candidates must submit their completed CDR to the council's Chief Executive Officer within 40 days after election day, even if they were not elected and/or did not receive gifts.

Your council will send a blank CDR form and submission instructions to all candidates before election day, and will also send a reminder during the 40 day submission period.

Each individual candidate must submit a CDR.

Blank return form Blank return formDOC (38.5 KB)

What happens if I don’t submit a CDR?

Submitting a CDR is a legal requirement and your responsibility as a candidate. Failure to submit a CDR, or providing false or misleading information on a CDR, can result in prosecution and fines of more than $9,900 (as of 1 July 2019).

What details must my return contain?

All fields must be filled out and the declaration signed by you. If you received no gifts, you may indicate this in the “Details of Gifts” section by writing “No disclosable gifts” in the table provided.

Why is the Inspectorate involved?

The Inspectorate is the integrity agency for local government in Victoria and investigates alleged breaches of the Local Government Act 1989, including electoral offences.

The Inspectorate monitors the submission of CDRs by candidates in council elections and may prosecute any candidate who fails to comply with section 62 of the Act.

Further information

Local Government Act 1989 (section 62) and Local Government (Electoral) Regulations 2016.

Local Government (Electoral) Regulations 2016 Part 8 - Election Donations Local Government (Electoral) Regulations 2016 Part 8 - Election DonationsPDF (12.95 KB)

Should you have any queries or wish to discuss this matter further, please contact the Inspectorate by email with the subject ‘Campaign donation returns query’: