Council election campaigns and donation returns

Local government election candidates must provide a record of whether they did or didn’t receive any donations, gifts or in-kind support for their election campaign.

We monitor the submission of campaign donation returns by candidates in council elections and may prosecute any candidate who fails to comply with the Act. It is important to note, however, the Inspectorate cannot receive returns directly from candidates or forward to councils on their behalf.

Under the Act, all candidates in Victorian council elections must submit a return within 40 days of election day. 

Donation return forms were included in candidate information packs distributed by the Victorian Electoral Commission. Forms must be completed and submitted to the CEO of the council for which you are nominating.

If you need contact information for the relevant council CEO, visit Vic Councils or your local council's website. You can also find information about your council on the Know you Council website.

If you were a candidate in a council election in 2020 or 2021, you must submit a return. The form, and instructions for submitting it to your council, can be downloaded below.

If you were not elected and/or you received no donations, you still must submit a return.

On the form, you must include:

  • all monetary donations equal to, or over the value of, $500
  • all donations of in-kind support equal to, or over the value of, $500
  • all donations of services equal to, or over the value of, $500
  • all donations from the same person or body, if the combined value of the donations you received from that person or body is equal to, or over the value of, $500.

If you received no gifts, you must indicate this in the Details of Gifts’ section by writing ‘No disclosable gifts’ or words to that effect in the table provided. 

All fields must be filled out and the declaration signed by the candidate.

Failure to submit a CDR, or providing false or misleading information on a CDR, can result in prosecution and fines of more than $11,090 (as of 1 July 2022).

Legislation governing elections

Local Government Act 2020

Local Government (Electoral) Regulations 2020


Campaign donation returns fact sheet 2022
PDF 173.76 KB
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Web page version: Fact sheet: Campaign donation returns

Election campaign donation return form
PDF 257.55 KB
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