Australian Electoral Commission

Statement of Reasons: The Australian Shooters Party

Updated: 2 November 2012

The Australian Shooters Party changes its name to the Shooters and Fishers Party

File reference: Reg3357, 07/388-2

The delegate of the Australian Electoral Commission determines that the application by The Australian Shooters Party to change its registered name (and abbreviation) under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, should be accepted and the Shooters and Fishers Party (Shooters and Fishers) is entered in the Register of Political Parties.

Background

On 6 April 2009, the Australian Electoral Commission (the AEC) received an application from The Australian Shooters Party (the ASP) to change its registered name and abbreviation under the provisions of Part XI of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Electoral Act). The new name sought was the Shooters and Fishers Party and the new abbreviation was Shooters and Fishers.

The AEC conducted a series of tests usually undertaken as part of the initial consideration of an application and on 21 July 2009, the delegate of the AEC approved the advertisement of the ASP application.

Relevant legal provisions

The legal provisions relevant for an application to change the Register of Political Parties are in s4 and Part XI of the Electoral Act. An extract of the relevant provisions is available on the AEC website. The reader should consult this extract at the link provided to understand the legal provisions being applied in the tests below.

Application of relevant legal provisions

Application

The application satisfies the requirements in s134 of the Electoral Act, in that it contains all the technical elements required for an application to change a registered party's name and abbreviation.

The application passes this test.

Party name

Prohibited names – s.129(1)(d)

Relevantly, s.129(1)(d) of the Electoral Act requires the AEC to refuse an application to change the name or abbreviation of a party if the name or abbreviation sought:

so nearly resembles the name, or an abbreviation or acronym of the name, of another political party (not being a political party that is related to the party to which the application relates) that is a recognised political party that it is likely to be confused with or mistaken for that name or that abbreviation or acronym, as the case may be.

A recognised political party is defined in s.129(2) as a parliamentary party, a registered party or a party that is registered under State or Territory legislation and has endorsed a candidate in the previous five years in an election in that State or Territory.

A search of the Commonwealth, State and Territory Registers of Political Parties identified the following parties with names somewhat similar to the proposed name and or abbreviation.

Parties with similar names on Commonwealth, State and Territory Registers of Political Parties
Register Registered name Registered abbreviation
Federal Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party AFLP
The Fishing Party no abbreviation registered
NSW The Fishing Party no abbreviation registered
The Shooters Party no abbreviation registered
Qld The Fishing party (Qld) no abbreviation registered
SA Shooters Party no abbreviation registered

The AEC considers that the proposed name and abbreviation are not likely to be confused with or mistaken for any of the parties in the table above.

Prohibited names – s.129(1)(da)

This paragraph prohibits a name that:

is one that a reasonable person would think suggests that a connection or relationship exists between the party and a registered party if that connection or relationship does not in fact exist.

The AEC considers that the proposed name and abbreviation are sufficiently different from the parties listed in the table above so that a reasonable person would not think a connection or relationship exists between the ASP and the parties listed in the table.

None of the other prohibitions in s.129 apply to this application.

Objections

The ASP application was advertised in the Commonwealth Gazette and newspapers circulating generally in each State and Territory on 29 July 2009 to permit interested persons or organisations to lodge an objection. No objection to the ASP's application has been received.

Conclusion

The application by the Australian Shooters Party to change its registered name and abbreviation is approved and the changes made to the Register of Political Parties.

Sue Sayer
Director Funding and Disclosure
Delegate of the Australian Electoral Commission

8 September 2009