Three candidates from the 2016 Wyndham council election have been charged after failing to declare who donated, and how much, to their election campaigns.
The Local Government Investigations and Compliance Inspectorate last week charged Helen Simeonidis, Wanli (Lucy) Jiang and Sahra Ashkir with failing to submit a campaign donation return following the 2016 council election. All three will front the Werribee Magistrates’ Court on March 20 for a mention. The trio face fines of more than $9300 each if found guilty.
Candidates are required to submit campaign donation returns when they receive any gifts or donations over the value of $500.
Chief municipal inspector David Wolf said the three Wyndham candidates – none of whom were elected – were among 15 statewide now facing prosecution.
“A key factor in the integrity of local government is ensuring the transparency on who has financially supported candidates and councillors,” Mr Wolf said.
Ms Simeonidis hung up when Star Weekly called for comment, Ms Jiang did not return Star Weekly’s calls and Ms Ashkir could not be contacted by deadline.
A total of 44 Wyndham candidates failed to lodged their campaign donations report by the December 1, 2016 deadline, prompting several rounds of follow-up action by the Inspectorate.