Committee to examine referendum process

Issue date: Thursday, 1 December 2022

House of Representatives media release header

The Electoral Matters Committee has commenced a review into the Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Amendment Bill 2022.

The bill, introduced to the House by Mr Patrick Gorman MP, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister, would amend the Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984 to modernise the Referendum Act to ensure it is consistent with changes made to the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 supporting the efficiency, transparency and integrity of Australia’s electoral process.

Committee Chair Ms Kate Thwaites said, ‘the Referendum Act was last used over two decades ago. The Electoral Act, electoral processes and methods of communication about referendums have advanced significantly. Prior to the next referendum it is important that the Referendum Act be updated to reflect these changes.’

The purpose of this review is to allow interested groups and the broader community an opportunity to comment on the mechanisms of how the referendum is conducted. It is not the Committee’s intention to examine the question to be put at the referendum, draft amendments to the Australian Constitution or the merits of a Voice to Parliament’, Ms Thwaites said.

The Committee invites written submissions addressing the provisions of the bill.

Prospective submitters should note that the Committee does not intend to accept submissions that do not address the provisions of the bill.

Any submission to the Committee’s inquiry must be prepared solely for the inquiry and should not be published prior to being accepted by the Committee.

Submissions are requested by COB Thursday 15 December. Further information about making a submission to a committee inquiry can be found at the following link.

Further information on the inquiry can be obtained from the Committee’s website.

Media inquiries

Mr Alex Collum
(03) 9459 1411

For background information

Committee Secretariat
02 6277 2374

For more information about this Committee, you can visit its website On the site, you can make a submission to an inquiry, read other submissions, and get details for upcoming public hearings. You can also track the Committee and receive email updates by clicking on the blue ‘Track Committee’ button in the bottom right hand corner of the page.

House of Representatives media release header