Shock! Horror! Pollie wants to give money back to donors - 26 October
  • Candidate's unprecedented money-back deal to donors unveiled

In what is believed a first in Australian politics (and probably anywhere else) a political candidate is offering a ‘money back deal’ to his campaign’s donors.

Independent No Pokies Senate candidate Nick Xenophon has a legally enforceable contractual undertaking attached to receipts and contribution forms that will in effect give any donor who gives $100 or more a refund proportionate to any amount received in federal election funding divided by his total election campaign expenses.

The contract provides for a registered company auditor to sign off on the expenses incurred and the refund amount.

The terms and conditions of the refund offer were prepared by a solicitor specialising in contract law and sent to 3 barristers (including a QC) for further advice.  Mr Xenophon has submitted the contract terms to the Australian Electoral Commission for an opinion.

Under Commonwealth electoral laws, funding of $2.10 per vote only applies if a candidate receives a threshold of 4% of the vote (for the Senate in SA, about 40,000 votes).

Mr Xenophon said:

“This ‘money back deal’ is what I feel most comfortable with – it seems only fair that if I receive Commonwealth election funding I should refund a direct proportionate amount back to donors.”


Mr Xenophon also challenged political parties to do the same thing.  Following the 2004 federal election over $41 million in public funding was received by political parties and candidates.


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