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The upcoming local government election will be the first in NSW since the State Government imposed new campaign financing laws.

In the City of Sydney, Labor’s candidate for Mayor, Linda Scott is calling on all participants to abide by an even stricter code. Ms Scott said: “We’re pretty concerned that the current state laws about
fundraising have caps in them but those caps on individual donations don’t apply to local government candidates.

“Local government candidates can accept individual donations of thousands and thousands of dollars; it’s unlimited under the state law.

“We think that it is inappropriate for candidates to be getting huge donations from individuals so we will be applying those caps to ourselves.”

The new campaign financing laws also restrict candidates and parties to only receiving donations from other individuals. For groups of candidates, the cap is $5,300 and for individuals it is $2,200.

Labor will also be asking people to sign a statement, declaring they do not have a conflict of interest about any Council issue when they give a donation.

A Clover Campaign spokesperson said: “We’re more than happy to cap donations at levels required by state campaigns.

“Clover’s policy is the same as it has always been. She will not accept donations that create a conflict of interest. She seeks donations from community members who support her work without
strings attached.

“She has returned donations where it has later seemed possible a conflict existed.”

Mayoral candidate for Living Sydney, Angela Vithoulkas said it was mostly a level playing field when it came to fundraising. However she refused to be drawn on whether Living Sydney would cap their donations at state levels, saying: “We only raise money in accordance with the NSW Electoral Commission’s rules.”

Greens Councilor and Mayoral Candidate Irene Doutney said: “We do a tiny bit of fundraising and the bulk comes from membership fees. We can never compete with the major parties or Clover or Living Sydney in terms of campaign spending.”