File reference: Reg2424, 07/388
The delegate of the Australian Electoral Commission determined that the application by the Australian Shooters Party to be registered as a political party under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 should be accepted and the party entered in the Register of Political Parties.
On 1 March 2007, the Australian Electoral Commission (the AEC) received an application from the Australian Shooters Party (the Party) for registration as a political party under the provisions of Part XI of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Electoral Act).
On 26 June 2007, the delegate of the AEC determined the initial consideration of the Party's application and approved the advertising of the Party's application to invite objections. The Party's application was advertised in the Commonwealth Gazette and in 10 newspapers circulating in the various states and territories on Wednesday 4 July 2007. No objections were received.
Political parties may apply for registration for the purposes of federal elections in accordance with the requirements of Part XI of the Electoral Act. The Act requires the AEC to maintain a publicly available 'Register of Political Parties'.
The provisions specifically relevant for the current application under consideration are sections 4, 123, 124, 126, 129, 132, 132A and 133 of the Electoral Act. An extract of the relevant provisions is available adjacent to this notice on the AEC's website.
In relation to this Party, the relevant provisions require it to:
Subsection 4(1) of the Electoral Act defines a political party as an organisation that has the object or activity of, or has as one of its objects or activities, the promotion of the election to the Senate or to the House of Representatives, of a candidate or candidates endorsed by it.
The Party meets the definition as it is recognised as an organisation by the NSW Electoral Commission under State law and has previously been registered with the Australian Electoral Commission as a political party both through the 1990's and again in 2006. It has lodged a political party annual return for 1998–1999 to 2003–2004 disclosing minor receipts and payments. The Party's Constitution states that the objectives of the Party include 'to select and endorse candidates for Federal elections and by-elections for the House of Representatives and the Senate'.
The application conforms to the requirements in s.126 of the Act, in that it:
The Party was de-registered on 27 December 2006 as a result of the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Electoral Integrity and Other Measures) Act 2006 (the 2006 Amendment Act). Item 4 in Schedule 3 of the 2006 Amendment Act provides for the waiver of the normal application fee where a party deregistered by force of Schedule 3 makes an application to re-register within 12 months of the commencement of the Schedule, 22 June 2006.
The Party has satisfied the technical requirements in s.126 for an application for party registration.
The Party passes this test as its constitution provides a comprehensive description of role and responsibilities of the secretary.
Section 123 of the Act requires a non-Parliamentary party to have at least 500 members (who are entitled to enrolment).
The criterion for membership including the payment of a membership fee is set out in the Party's constitution and the random sample passed the AEC's membership test. The statutory declaration by the secretary states that each of the members on the list has been accepted as a member of the Party in accordance with the rules of the Party.
If, in contacting a random sample of 20 people from the membership list, there is no more than one instance where the membership could not be confirmed, then the AEC accepts that the party has passed the required membership test. The test is designed to detect fraudulent membership in the 500 members on the basis that an application that contains fraudulent memberships is unlikely to be from a Party that has 500 members.
A random sample check of 20 members was completed in May 2007. All 20 members confirmed their membership. A check against all available membership lists was conducted, and of the 847 members provided by the Party, 6 duplicates were found and removed from the Party's list of members eligible to support the application.
The Party has demonstrated that there is no fraud in its membership list and that it satisfies the membership eligibility criterion.
The Party has an up-to-date constitution that was provided with its application. The constitution contains the following matters relevant to registration:
The Party passes this test.
Section 129 prohibits the registration of parties with certain names. Specifically, the name shall not be approved if any of the following conditions are met:
'The Shooters Party' is registered with the NSW Electoral Commission, however the AEC accepts that it is the same entity as the applicant party in that it has the same address, secretary and registered officer.
The application from the Australian Shooters Party to be registered as a political party is approved.
Deputy Electoral Commissioner
Delegate of the Australian Electoral Commission
21 August 2007