1. The Report

This report is the tenth and final report of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters for the 45th Parliament.1 It continues the Committee’s inquiry into the Australian Electoral Commission’s Annual Report 2017-18 (terms of reference on page v).
However, this report also reflects the broad reach of the Committee’s work in this Parliament. For the benefit of stakeholders interested in its work, and its successor, this report :
articulates the Committee’s vision for continued Parliamentary oversight of the Australian Electoral Commission and other electoral matters (Chapter 2);
summarises investigations to date on the impact of disinformation on democracy globally (Chapter 3); and
outlines its proposals for future inquiry work for the Committee (below).

Future inquiry work for the Electoral Matters Committee

Although this Committee cannot commit Electoral Matters committees of future parliaments to any inquiries, it strongly encourages the continuation of the proposed AEC review process outlined in Appendix B, as discussed in Chapter 2.
The negative impact of disinformation on democracy is now a global concern. As discussed in Chapter 3, the Committee would like to see its successor addressing this threat as an ongoing inquiry. This would include engaging with international counterparts to form global solutions to a global problem.
The following matters have also been raised over the course of the 45th Parliament which do not fit ‘neatly’ into an election review process. The Committee considers that these matters are significant, and should be addressed as separate inquiries during the 46th Parliament and, if necessary, on an ongoing basis:
management and security of the electoral roll;
the classification of Australia’s electoral systems as national critical infrastructure;
professionalisation of the temporary election workforce;
operation and modernisation of the Electoral Act; and
the increasing use of automation in the electoral system.
Finally, on 6 December 2018, the Senate referred a review of the provisions enacted under the Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform amendments to the Electoral Act, to the Committee to be formed in the next Parliament. This review is to conclude by December 2020.

  • 1
    Reports are listed at Appendix A.

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