Disclosure Statements

What is a disclosure statement?
A disclosure statement is a declaration made to Council detailing any political donations or gifts made to any Councillor or gifts made to any Council employee in connection with a relevant planning application.

Why are disclosure statements required?
Disclosure statements are required by section 147 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. This section commenced on 1 October 2008 with the purpose of minimising any perception of undue influence in relation to planning applications.

Do I need to make a disclosure statement?
If you are making a relevant planning application and you, or any person with a financial interest in the planning application, have made a political donation to any Councillor or a gift to any Councillor or Council employee you need to make a disclosure statement.

If you are making a submission objecting to or supporting a relevant planning application and you, or an associate of yours, have made a political donation to any Councillor or a gift to any Councillor or Council employee you need to make a disclosure statement.

NOTE: If you have not made a political donation or gift you do not need to make a disclosure statement.

A relevant planning application includes:

  • A development application (or an application to modify a development consent) or
  • A formal request to initiate an environmental planning instrument or development control plan in relation to development on a particular site

A political donation or gift includes those made within 2 years of the planning application or submission being made. A political donation is a donation of $1,000 or more made within a financial year.

When is a disclosure statement to be made?
If a political donation or gift was made before the planning application or submission was made, the disclosure statement needs to be made at the time the planning application or submission is made. If a political donation or gift was made after the planning application or submission was made but before we have made a decision on it, the disclosure statement needs to be made within 7 days of the political donation or gift being made.

Are disclosure statements available to the public?
Yes. We are required by law to make disclosure statements available to the public within 14 days of the statement being made. See the disclosure statements submitted to Council.
Disclosure statements will be attached to our file for the planning application. Files can be made available for inspection by members of the public. Also, details of disclosure statements will be included in reports on planning applications.

Are there penalties for not making a disclosure statement?
Yes. If you need to make a disclosure statement and fail to do so heavy penalties can apply. Presently the maximum penalty is $22,000 or 12 months imprisonment, or both.
NOTE: If you have not made a political donation or gift you do not need to make a disclosure statement.

How do I make a disclosure?
Download a Political donations and gifts disclosure statement form . Attach the completed declaration to your planning application or submission. If you are making a disclosure statement after you have made your planning application or submission, you can email or mail the completed form to Council.

Where can I get more information?
Explanatory information and a glossary of terms are provided in the Political donations and gifts disclosure statement form  or check the Department of Planning website. A community brochure prepared by the Department of Planning is available. If you are not sure if your circumstances require that you need to make a disclosure statement you may need to obtain your own advice. It is important to remember that it is your responsibility to find out if you need to make a disclosure statement.