1. Supported. The Government notes the opposition of the ALP members
of the JSCEM to this recommendation and Recommendations 2, 3, 4, and 6.
However, it supports these recommendations for the same reason put forward
by the majority of the JSCEM, ie. that it is unacceptable that the most
fundamental transaction between a citizen and the government, that is,
the act of choosing the government at a democratic election, is subject
to a far lower level of security than such lesser transactions as opening
a 'bank account, applying for a passport, applying for a driver's licence
or registering for social security benefits to name but a few.
2. The AEC has submitted the implementation plan to the JSCEM.
3. Supported. The Government believes that appropriate amendments should
be made to the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. The process involved in
implementing Recommendations 2, 3 and 52 are interlinked. The combined
cost is estimated at $4,862,000 in the first year and $3,940,000 in each
4. Supported. However, the Government believes that the amendment should
only apply to new enrolments. Recommendation 2 is relevant in relation
5. Supported. The Government considers that the integrity of enrolment
and voting are fundamental to democracy and as such the AEC should be
afforded the facilities to use the data held in other government controlled
databases to check the accuracy of the electoral Roll.
6. Supported. The cost estimate of implementing this recommendation
is $280,000 in the first year and $140,000 in each out year. Recommendation
2 is also relevant in relation to costs.
7. Supported.* Following the introduction of identification for new
enrollees (Recommendation 3), the administrative implications during the
final week of enrolment, and the volume of new enrolments, it is evident
that the AEC would not be able to process applications whilst still ensuring
that the necessary checks are completed in order to maintain the integrity
of the electoral Roll. Existing electors wishing to change their address
details may still do so up to 8.00 pm on the third working day after the
writ is issued. New enrollees are required under the CEA to enrol within
one month of attaining eligibility.
8. Supported in principle. The Government supports the conducting of
an investigation into the reintroduction of subdivisional voting. However,
the government believes the JSCEM should conduct a more detailed investigation
into the positive and negative aspects of the reintroduction of subdivisional
9. Supported. The amendment is included in the Electoral and Referendum
Amendment Bill 1997.
10. Not supported. The Australian Electoral Commission to examine the
cost and feasibility of placing electoral rolls on the Internet where
they can be readily updated.
That a) sections 95, 99 and 101 of the Electoral Act be amended so
that electors are required to re-enrol within one month of changing address
anywhere in Australia and b) the AEC be empowered to negotiate with utilities
and local government so that documents sent out by those bodies, to persons
who have changed address, include reminders to change enrolment details.
Preferential and Compulsory Voting
That section 245 of. the Electoral Act and section 45 of the Referendum
Act, and related provisions providing for compulsory voting at Federal
elections and referenda, be repealed. In the interests of effective management
of the electoral system and maintaining accurate records of turnout, compulsory
enrolment should be retained.
13. Not supported. The Government does not believe that voluntary voting
should be considered at this time.
That section 270(2), 329(3) and 329A of the Electoral Act be repealed.
14. Supported. The amendment is included in the Electoral and Referendum
Amendment Bill 1997.
That section 240 of the Electoral Act, which provides for full preferential
voting at House of Representatives elections, be amended to include the
words "consecutive numbers, without the repetition of any number".
15. Supported. The amendment is included in the Electoral and Referendum
Amendment Bill 1997.
That if Recommendation 13 is accepted, at future Federal elections
the AEC monitor how many informal votes would have been accepted as formal
had section 270(2) of the Electoral Act remained in force.
16. Not supported. The Government does not believe that implementing
this recommendation is necessary, beyond what the AEC would normally undertake
with regard to its function under section 7(1)(e) of the Commonwealth
Electoral Act 1918.
That before the next election, the government seek advice on the
constitutional validity of section 272(2) and 272(3) of the Electoral
Act, which allow a Senate group to lodge multiple voting tickets.
17. Noted. The AEC has advised that it has advice indicating the relevant
sections are constitutionally valid.
That the AEC revise its procedures to ensure compliance with section
216 of the Electoral Act, which requires that Senate group voting tickets
be "prominently displayed" on posters at polling booths. Such information
should be made available to electors who request it before polling day.
18. Not supported. The Government opposes this recommendation as section
216 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 adequately outlines the procedures
to be followed.
Enrolment and Voting by Certain Groups
That the Electoral Act be amended to allow the reinstatement of provisional
votes where an elector has moved between subdivisions in the Northern
Territory or Kalgoorlie, but has remained within the relevant division.
19. Supported in principle. The amendment should reflect that the provisional
votes be admitted, but that these voters should be required to re-enrol
in the normal way.
That following the next Federal election the AEC conduct a review
of its service delivery to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander electors,
in the context of the abolition of the ATSIEIS, and report back to the
20. Not supported. The Government also notes the call by the ALP for
the reintroduction of the ATSIEIS program. However, the Government believes
that the measures implemented with regard to the service provided by the
AEC to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander electors following the abolition
of ATSIEIS provide a sufficient level of service.
That in relation to assisted voting, section 234(1) of the Electoral
Act be repealed, and section 234(2) be amended to allow any polling official
(rather than a "presiding officer") to assist a voter.
21. Supported. However, there should be no amendment to section 234(2).
The Government believes that the only person able to complete the ballot
paper. other than the eligible voter, should be the presiding officer.
That the ATSIC Act be amended to provide that ATSIC elections may
not be held in the period between the close of nominations and the close
of polling for a Federal, State or Territory election.
22. Supported. The ATSIC Regional Council election period should not
commence while there is a general federal election or referendum writ
in force. Further, if a general federal election or referendum writ is
issued during an ATSIC Regional Council election period, the ATSIC election
period should be suspended from the issue of the writ, and resumed at
a suitable time after the federal election or referendum.
That the Electoral Act he amended to allow Australians resident overseas
for the purposes of career or employment to remain enrolled, or to enrol
after departing Australia, for a subdivision under similar criteria to
those provided for itinerant electors in section 96(2A) of the Act. The
qualifying period of three years or less under section 94 of the Act should
be extended to six years (with the retention of the capacity, under section
94(8) and 94(9), for electors to apply for further extensions on a year-by-year
23. Supported. The amendment is included in the Electoral and Referendum
Amendment Bill 1997.
That section 193(2) of the Electoral Act be amended to replace any
reference to the "Queen's Dominions" with "Commonwealth".
That section 93(8)(b) of the Electoral Act be amended to provide
that a person serving a prison sentence for any offence against the law
of the Commonwealth, or of a State or Territory, is not entitled to enrol
or vote at Federal elections.
25. Supported. The Government notes the ALP's dissension to this recomrnendation.
The Government however recognises that the imposition of a prison term
limits an individual's access to certain rights and privileges. The right
to vote is considered by the Government to be one of the rights that should
be foregone by prisoners.
That the AEC improve education for staff in hospitals and nursing
homes (and other such institutions likely to be appointed as polling places)
to ensure that patients are not deprived of the right to vote, and that
the rights of party scrutineers are understood and applied consistently.
That section 226(2A) of the Electoral Act be amended so that during
the conduct of mobile polling at special hospitals, Electoral Visitors
are allowed to advise voters that how-to-vote material is available.
27. Supported. The amendment is included in the Electoral and Referendum
Amendment Bill 1997.
That a drafting error In section 226(4)(a) of the Electoral Act be
corrected, by replacing the reference therein to section 219 of the Act
("participation by candidates in the conduct of an election") with a reference
to section 348 ("control of behaviour at polling booths etc'').
28. Supported. The amendment is included in the Electoral and Referendum
Amendment Bill 1997.
That the Electoral Act be amended to enable presiding officers to
take ballot papers immediately outside a polling place to electors who,
because of physical incapacity, cannot enter the polling place. Scrutineers
should be given the opportunity to observe this process.
29. Supported.. The amendment is included in the Electoral and Referendum
Amendment Bill 1997.
Enrolment and Voting: Other Issues
That the AEC, in its pre-election advertising, emphasise that pre-poll
and postal voting is only available to those electors who will be unable
to cast an ordinary vote on polling day.
30. Not supported. The Government believes that a significant amount
of pre-election advertising is done by political parties with particular
emphasis on postal voting, and that a further campaign conducted by the
AEC could not be fiscally justified.
That the Electoral Act and the Referendum Act be amended to make
clear that a postal vote application form sent to an elector must be the
official AEC form or an exact replica, and must not be incorporated into
another document with material issued by a body other than the AEC.
31. Not supported. The amendment should provide that the approved postal
vote application may be incorporated into another document with material
issued by a body or person other than the AEC, such as a political party
or candidate. However, the postal vote application must be in the approved
form. An amendment has been moved to the Electoral and Referendum Amendment
That the postal voting provisions of the Electoral Act and the Referendum
Act be amended to enable double enveloping, by deleting the requirement
for the declaration certificate and the return address of the Divisional
Returning Officer to be printed on the envelope into which the postal
ballot papers are placed.
32. Supported. The amendment is included in the Electoral and Referendum
Amendment Bill 1997.
That paragraph 7 of Schedule 3 of the Electoral Act and paragraph
7 of Schedule 4 of the Referendum Act concerning the postmarking of postal
vote envelopes be repealed, so that the date of the witness's signature
is instead used to determine if a postal vote was cast before the close
of polling. The witnessing portion of the postal vote envelope should
specify all the elector's details being attested to, and should make clear
that it is an offence for a witness to make a false declaration.
33. Supported. However, the Government believes that this provision
should only be used in the event of the postmark being illegible or non-existent.
That the Electoral Act be amended to permit candidates to receive
on request, an electronic copy of the marked roll of those electors who
lodged postal votes at the relevant election.
34. Not supported. The Government believes that existing arrangements
with regard to access to the marked roll are adequate.
That the Electoral Commissioner be provided with a discretion in
the Electoral Act with regard to the layout and formatting of the Senate
ballot paper, to enable costeffective use of standard paper stocks and
printing technologies. Any new format should not compromise the legibility
of the ballot paper.
35. Not supported. The Government believes that the AEC does not need
further discretion with regard to the ballot paper. The ballot paper should
have a consistent format, with the size of the paper being amended to
incorporate all the candidates names and ensuring that the names are legible.
There is no provision in the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 restricting
the size of the ballot paper.
That section 273 of the Electoral Act be amended so as to permit
the Senate scrutiny to be carried out by either the current manual processes
or by a computer process based on the same principles as the manual count.
36. Supported. The amendment is included in the Electoral and Referendum
Amendment Bill 1997.
That the Electoral Act be amended so that, where on the basis of
first preferences votes the exclusion of all but two candidates for a
House of Representatives division is inevitable, the declaration of the
poll proceeds based on the result of the twocandidate preferred count.
37. Supported. However, the current requirement to conduct a full distribution
of preferences, if only for statistical purposes rather than determining
who is elected, should remain. The amendment is included in the Electoral
and Referendum Amendment Bill 1997.
That section 266 of the Electoral Act concerning the preliminary
scrutiny of .declaration votes be amended to provide that the preliminary
scrutiny may begin on the Monday before polling day.
38. Supported. The Government supports this recommendation provided
that it only applies to the scrutiny of the declaration, not the votes
themselves, and that no envelope containing votes is opened until after
the close of the poll. In addition, the secondary check on rejected declarations
will not occur until after the close of the poll.
That sections 153(2)(b) and 154(4)(b) of the Electoral Act, and section
14(2) of the Referendum Act, be amended to require the advertising of
election and referendum writs in only one newspaper circulating in a State
or Territory where there are not two newspapers in wide circulation.
39. Supported. The amendment is included in the Electoral and Referendum
Amendment Bill 1997.
Nomination of Candidates and Registration of Political Parties
That at an appropriate time, such as in conjunction with the next
Federal election, a referendum be held on a) applying the "office of profit"
disqualification in section 44(iv) from the start of an MP's term, rather
than from the time of nomination, and b) deleting section 44(i) on "foreign
allegiance" and otherwise amending the Constitution to make Australian
citizenship a necessary qualification for membership of the Parliament.
40. Noted. The Attorney-General is in the process of progressing a recommendation
from the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.
That section 170(3) of the Electoral Act be amended to increase the
deposit for nomination from $250 to $350 for the House of Representatives,
and from $500 to $700 for the Senate.
41. Supported. The amendment is included in the Electoral and Referendum
Amendment Bill 1997.
That section 166(1)(b)(i) of the Electoral Act be amended so that
the number of signatures required in support of a nomination by a candidate
not endorsed by a registered political party is increased from six to
42. Supported. Although there will be additional time required to check
the signatures on nominations lodged near to Close of Nominations, the
24 hour period in Recommendation 42 between Close of Nominations and Declaration
of Nominations will allow sufficient time to complete the task. The amendment
is included in the Electoral and Referendum Amendment Bill 1997.
That sections 156(1), 176 and 213(1)(a) of the Electoral Act be amended
to reduce the nomination period by one day (to not less than 10 days or
more than 27 days), with the declaration of nominations to be held 24
hours after the close of nomination. Section 211 and 211A of the Act (which
refer to the "closing" of nominations) should be amended, so that Senate
candidates and groups still have 24 hours after the declaration to advise
the AEC of their desired preference distributions.
43. Supported. The amendment is included in the Electoral and Referendum
Amendment Bill 1997.
That sections 176(1), 213(1)(a) and 283(1) of the Electoral Act be
amended to allow the Senate ballot paper draw and the declaration of the
Senate result to be carried out at the place of nomination, or at another
convenient location as decided by the Australian Electoral Officer, if
insufficient space is available at the AEC Head Office.
44. Supported. The amendment is included in the Electoral and Referendum
Amendment 'Bill 1997.
That the Electoral Act be amended to enable registered party names
or abbreviations, as appropriate, to be printed against the names of candidates,
where two or more parties are seeking to use the same party identifier
to endorse candidates at an election. An appropriate description should
also be able to be used if necessary.
45. Not supported. The Government believes that an amendment is unnecessary.
That section 169B of the Electoral Act be amended to provide that
a candidate endorsed by more than one political party must specify to
the AEC, in writing, the name of the political party to be printed on
the ballot paper.
46. Not supported. The Government considers that the matter is already
adequately covered by section 169B of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.
The Government notes the ALP minority report supports this view.
That the Electoral Act be amended to enable a registered political
party to object to the continuing use of a party name and/or abbreviation
by another party which obtained its registration by claiming related party
status to that registered political party, where that relationship no
47. Supported. The amendment is included in the Electoral and Referendum
Amendment Bill 1997.
That the Electoral Act and the Broadcasting Act be amended to prohibit,
during election periods, "misleading statements of fact" in electoral
advertisements published by any means.
48. Not supported. The Government firmly believes that political advertising
should be truthful in its content. However, any legislation introduced
to enforce this principle would be difficult to enforce and could be open
49. Previous Committees have found that it was not possible to legislate
to control political advertising and that voters, using whatever assistance
they see fit from the media and other sources, remain the most appropriate
arbiters of the worth of political claims.
That section 328 of the Electoral Act and section 121 of the Referendum
Act be amended, to provide that where an electoral advertisement is presented
so that the AEC believes there is no reasonable doubt as to the individual
who, or body which, is responsible for its publication, the authorisation
requirements will be taken to be satisfied. The authorisation provisions
should still specify that correct name and (street) address details must
be clearly displayed.
50. Not supported. The Government believes that the amendment would
weaken the requirements regarding the authorisation of material. Although
the Democrat minority report calls for strengthening of the provisions
to prevent hidden authorisations and funding being used to attack political
opponents, the Government considers that current provisions in the legislation
That section 331 of the Electoral Act ("heading to electoral advertisements")
be amended to ensure that a) as well as newspapers it applies to other
periodical newssheets and magazines that accept paid advertisements, and
b) it applies to advertisements containing electoral matter whether inserted
"for reward" or free of charge by the owner or editor of the publication.
51. Supported. The amendment is included in the Electoral and Referendum
Amendment Bill 1997.
That section 332 of the Electoral Act and section 125 of the Referendum
Act ( "authors of reports etc. to be identified") be repealed.
52. Supported. Section 328 of the CEA operates constantly and effectively
deals with authorisation requirements.
That a review of the level of penalties for offences under the Electoral
Act and the Referendum Act be undertaken by the AEC with the assistance
of the AttorneyGeneral's Department, with a view to bringing the penalties
into line with penalty rates for comparable offences under other Commonwealth
That the enrolment form be amended to provide for electors' salutation
details, and that section 91 of the Electoral Act be amended so that electors'
gender, age and salutation details are provided to Members of Parliament
and registered political parties, subject to a) sections 91A(1A)(c) and
91A(2)(c) of the Act being amended to make it clear that the "permitted
purposes" in relation to MPs and registered parties include research purposes,
and b) the penalties for misuse specified in sections 91A and 91B of the
Act being increased from $1000 to $10,000 (the outcome of the review of
penalties provided for in Recommendation 51 should not delay the proposed
54. Supported. The estimated cost of implementing this recommendation
by itself is $62,000. If Recommendations 2, 3 and 5 are implemented at
the same time. the additional cost of this recommendation is $12,000.
The Government also notes the objections of the Democrat member of the
JSCEM. However, the Government believes that (lie provision of this information
to Members of Parliament Senators and political parties is a necessary
and legitimate use of information within the democratic process with respect
to the role of communicating with electors.
That sections 89 to 92 of the Electoral Act, concerning improper
use of roll information, be reviewed to take account of developments in
computer technology. The existing entitlements of MPs and registered political,
parties should be maintained.
That the Electoral Act be amended so that the prohibition on canvassing
at "special hospitals" and hospitals that are polling places applies from
the Monday before polling day to the expiration of polling day, and so
that the gazettal of special hospitals is effective on an ongoing basis.
56. Supported. The amendment is included in the Electoral and Referendum
Amendment Bill 1997.
Election Funding and Financial Disclosure
That section 314AC(1) of the Electoral Act be amended so that political
parties are required to disclose a total amount of $5000 or more, rather
than $1500, received from a person or organisation during a financial
58. The Government notes ALP and Democrat dissent to this recommendation
and Recommendation 57. However, it agrees with the majority report of
the JSCEM that the reporting thresholds should more adequately reflect
current financial values and that the scenario painted in the dissenting
reports that donors would go to extraordinary lengths to avoid disclosure
is in most cases unlikely.
59. The Government also notes the Democrat recommendation that consideration
be given to the Recommendation 128 of the report of the Western Australian
Commission on Government. This recommendation includes the proposal for
the immediate disclosure of donations over $10,000 by the recipient. As
the federal system already requires annual disclosures by political parties,
the Government is of the view that the adoption of this recommendation
would add little to the current provisions and does not support the immediate
disclosure of donations. Recommendation 56
That section 314AC(2) of the Electoral Act be amended to raise from
$500 to $1500 the threshold for counting individual amounts received.
60. Supported. Recommendation 57
That section 305B(1) of the Electoral Act be amended to increase
from $1500 to $10,000 the amount above which a donor to a registered political
party must furnish a return for the financial year.
61. Supported. Recommendation 58
That section 309 of the Electoral Act be amended so that registered
political parties are not required to lodge returns of electoral expenditure.
62. Supported. The amendment is included in the Electoral and Referendum
Amendment Bill 1997.
63. The Government notes the Democrat minority report concerns. However,
returns of electoral expenditure only report specified expenditures over
a set time frame. Their abolition would not detract from the core principle
of disclosure which is to make public the details of those funding political
That the Electoral Act be amended to allow registered political parties
to lodge their audited accounts in place of the annual return, subject
to a) the accounts containing a level of detail consistent with Part XX
of the Act and b) the format of the accounts being approved by the AEC.
64. Supported. However, it should be optional, not mandatory that parties
lodge audited accounts in the place of the annual return. The amendment
is included in the Electoral and Referendum Amendment Bill 1997. The AEC
will only approve accounts which provide the required detail in a simple
format which allows them to be easily interpreted as the annual return.
That section 314AD of the Electoral Act be amended to replace the
current requirement to report in detail amounts paid with a requirement
to report total expenditure.
65. Supported. The amendment is included in the Electoral and Referendum
Amendment Bill 1997.
66. The Government notes the concerns expressed in the Democrat minority
report. However, the abolition of the current requirement to report expenditure
in detail would not detract from the core principle of disclosure. (Section
314AB already requires the reporting of total expenditure, therefore,
the action required is the full repeal of 314AD).
That section 78 of the Commonwealth Income Tax Assessment Act be
amended so that donations to a political party of up to $1500 annually,
whether from an individual or a corporation, are tax deductible.
That section 78 of the Income Act Assessment Act be amended to provide
that donations to an independent candidate at a Federal or State election
are tax deductible, at the same level as donations to registered parties.
That the Electoral Act be amended so that the amount of public funding
available is based on the total enrolment at the close of rolls for an
election, multiplied by the amount payable per elector as in section 294
of the Act.
69. Not supported. The Government does not agree that a change to the
current arrangements is necessary.
That section 311A of the Electoral Act, concerning annual returns
by Commonwealth departments, be deleted and inserted in more appropriate
70. Supported. The Government is considering the appropriate legislation
into which it can be inserted, and an amendment will not be made until
that other legislation is determined.
71. There is also dissent to this recommendation from the ALP and Democrat
members of the JSCEM. The ALP say there is a need for the requirement
and the most rational site is the CEAThe Democrat Report says it will
only support Recommendation 64 if those provisions remain applicable until
actually replaced in more appropriate legislation. They also recommend
that section 311A be given a sunset clause, operable once it is replaced
in other legislation.
That when available, any government proposal for reorganisation of
tile AEC divisional office structure be referred to this Committee for
inquiry and report.
72. Supported. The Government notes the recommendation in the Democrat
minority report that the ANAO, which has initiated a performance audit
of the AEC, examine practical ways in which federal and State electoral
commissions could consider joint efficiencies to the benefit of both.
In 1992, the JSCEM reported on its examination of the cooperation and
efficiencies between federal and State electoral commissions. There has
been considerable cooperation and work toward efficiencies since that
time. The ANAO does not have the legal mandate to review State Government
operations. Additionally, the Government does not consider it appropriate
that a Commonwealth agency examine State electoral commissions.
That if regionalisation does not proceed, funding for AEC divisional
offices be increased to a level sufficient to maintain a permanent staff
of three in each office.
73. Noted. The AEC has sought additional funding in the context of the
1998-99 budget to allow Divisional Office staffing levels to be increased
That if regionalisation does not proceed, the government provide
special project funding as a matter of urgency to enable the replacement
of information technology used in AEC divisional offices.
74. Noted. 'Me AEC has incorporated the replacement of information technology
into its outsourcing initiative.
That section 188 of the Electoral Act and section 61 of the Referendum
Act be amended to provide that where Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel
are serving in an overseas country as a formed unit, and Australia Post
certifies that postal vote applications or ballot papers would not, if
posted, reach the personnel in time for their votes to be cast before
the relevant deadline, then the requirements of section 188 and section
61 shall be satisfied if a Divisional Returning Officer provides the relevant
applications or ballot papers to a designated member of the ADF.
That similar amendments be made to the Electoral Act and the Referendum
Act to cover cases where the AEC uses services other than postal services,
such as contractual delivery, for the conveyance of postal voting material.
76. Supported. These amendments are included in the Electoral and Referendum
Amendment Bill 1997.
That the Electoral Act and the Referendum Act be amended to provide
explicitly that a failure of an alternative mechanism to the postal service
shall not, in cases where the postal service has broken down, form the
basis for a challenge to the result of the election in the Court of Disputed
That the Electoral Act and the Referendum Act be amended so that
the Court of Disputed Returns or the High Court must decide election or
referendum petitions "as quickly as is reasonable in the circumstances".
That section 354 of the Electoral Act be amended to enable the High
Court to remit aspects of a petition to a Supreme Court, with the High
Court retaining final jurisdiction on relief.
That the Electoral Act be amended so that within 75 days of the resignation
or death of a Member of the House of Representatives, a writ must be issued
for a by-election (except in the four months before the expiry of the
House of Representatives by effluxion of time). A similar amendment should
apply to supplementary elections caused by, for example, the death of
a candidate after the close of nominations.
80. Not supported. The Government is not satisfied that the imposition
of a time Emit is appropriate with regard to the issuing of the writ for
Additional recommendations in the Democrat minority report:
i) That the electoral system for the Senate be left operating as
81. The Government is on record (House of Representatives Hansard page
6761) as saying that it has no plans to change the voting system for the
ii) The AEC Public Awareness Program specifically target voter education
on preference voting, and voter confusion over the count for the Senate
82. The Government notes that the AEC's public awareness program already
iii) That if an AEC registered candidate is disendorsed by a political
party 'or expelled by that party between the time of AEC official acceptance
of that nominated candidate and the date of the election, then the AEC
must ensure all polling stations and polling booths in the relevant electorates
clearly indicate that fact.
83. Not supported. This is an internal matter for the political parties.
iv) That if a Parliamentarian is elected as a representative of a political
party, unless he or she resigns or is expelled from that particular party,
or that party has a name change or ceases to exist, then they must continue
to style themselves as being from that party.
84. Not supported. This would be an impossible situation to monitor.
It is also an internal matter for political parties.
v) That the provisions relating to the Party Name registration be reviewed
85. It is not clear what is intended by this recommendation. However,
tile Government will consider any submissions which detail problems with
the current party registration system and propose practical solutions.
vi) That the Electoral Act be strengthened to prevent hidden authorisations
and funding being used to attack political opponents.
86. Not supported. The Government considers that the existing provisions
vii) With regard to how-to-vote provisions the Australian Democrats
recommend the melding of the Tasmanian and New South Wales laws into the
87. Not supported. Tasmania bans the distribution of all electoral matter
on polling day or the day to which polling has been adjourned, and NSW
requires the registration of all electoral material, with the application
for registration to be made from the date of nomination to 8 days before
88. The Government believes that the banning of the distribution of
how-to-vote cards raises civil, liberties questions and severely reduces
the freedom of participation of enthusiastic party workers in the campaign
process. Handing out how-to-vote cards is one of the few means by which
supporters of a candidate can participate in a campaign.
89. To have the cards registered, as in NSW, would be a considerable
viii) That the AEC take an early opportunity to trial, at a by-election,
systems of displaying how-to-vote material inside polling booths.
90. Not supported. Priority must be given to the display of the AEC's
own voter assistance material. The AEC cannot become involved in policing
delivery or specifying size, spacing or coverage of material by political
parties. Additionally, how-to-vote material for the Senate could not be
trialled at a by-election and the size of this material would cause considerable
problems at polling places where space is restricted.
ix) Each AEC polling booth electoral officer should be required to collect
one sample of each how-to-vote card handed out, for records and analysis
91. Not supported. This is an impractical suggestion. In NSW alone it
would require the collection of in excess of 3,000 how-to-vote cards.
Apart from the diversion of resources, the AEC cannot be responsible for
ensuring it has a sample of every card. Nor, is it clear what the purpose
of the analysis would be.
x) Political parties which receive donations from Trusts or Foundations
must be obliged to return the money, or forfeit the money donated unless
the following as disclosed:
- a declaration of beneficial and ultimate control of the trust estate,
including by trustees;
- a declaration of the identities of the beneficiaries of the trust
estate, including in the case of individuals, their countries of residence
and, in the case of beneficiaries which are not individuals, their countries
of incorporation or registration, as the case may be;
- details of any relationships with other entities;
- the percentage distribution of income within the trust; and
- any changes during the donations year in relation to the information
92. Not supported. The provisions covering associated entities already
provide for detailed disclosure by trusts and foundations closely associated
with registered political parties
xi) That where any State or Territory requires disclosure of political
donations by just one sector of the community, then all other organisations
and companies should also have to comply with this requirement in that
93. Not supported. This is a matter of State legislation and is not
applicable to the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.
xii) That the ANAO in its performance audit of the AEC examine practical
ways in which Federal and State Electoral Commissions could consider joint
efficiencies to the benefit of both.
94. Not supported. In 1989, the JSCEM examined the cooperation and efficiencies
between federal and State electoral commissions and there has been considerable
cooperation and work toward efficiencies since that time. Additionally,
the Government does not consider it appropriate that a Commonwealth agency
examine State electoral commissions. The ANAO does not have the legal
mandate to review State Government operations. Therefore this recommendation
cannot be included in the audit, which will only focus on the AEC's Corporate
Governance Framework, and associated issues. from a Commonwealth perspective.
xiii) That the dates of elections be fixed and preset by legislation.
95. Not supported. The Democrat recommendation may also require change
to the Constitution.
xiv) That legislation should be introduced to impose a financial
penalty on a member of the House of Representatives who resigns without
96. Not supported. Imposing a penalty on a member of the House of Representatives
who resigns without due cause raises issues of equity in relation to Independent
Members who do not have political party machinery behind them to support
the payment of a penalty. Small parties may not want to or be able to
provide that support, nor for that matter may large parties want to provide
97. Further, questions of definition must arise, such as to the threshold
of reasons for resignation that trigger the penalty. For example, resignation
for reasons of ill-health or family problems would presumably have to
constitute penalty exclusions. Once it is accepted that some exclusions
are necessary, the further question arises as to how such cases should
be arbitrated, particularly given that such arbitration would inevitably
involve personal and private factors, with their attendant difficulties
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