File reference: Reg3727
The delegate of the Australian Electoral Commission determined that the Building Australia Party should be registered under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.
On 3 March 2010, the AEC received an application from the Building Australia Party for registration as a federal political party under the provisions of the Electoral Act.
On 29 April 2010 the delegate determined that the party had passed its initial consideration for party registration.
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 document on the AEC website.
In relation to this Party, the relevant provisions require it to:
The party is established on the basis of a constitution, which sets up an organisation with established principles and sets out its objectives. One of its objectives includes endorsing candidates to contest Senate and House of Representatives elections.
The party has its own phone number, as well as a physical address and a postal address. The party is already registered in NSW for endorsing candidates in the State Election and appears to be becoming increasingly 'active'.
FAD assessed the application against the technical requirements in s126(2) of the Electoral Act as listed above. The application meets the technical requirements in s126(2).
The role of party secretary is clearly described and meets the requirements of s123 of the Electoral Act.
Section 123 of the Electoral Act requires a non-parliamentary party to have at least 500 members who are entitled to enrolment. 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.
The sample size of members to be contacted during the membership testing of Building Australia was determined according to advice provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The total number of eligible members provided by the party was 648. The total number of necessary contacts was 98. The number of denials of membership allowed was 28, or at least 70 confirmed members.
FAD has obtained contact with 71 individuals listed on the Building Australia membership list. From these, 70 confirmed that they were members of the party. One person stated that they were not part of any political party.
Even if all the remaining individuals were to deny being members of Building Australia, the party would still have produced sufficient results from the application of the AEC's membership testing methodology to satisfy the requirements as derived from the advice provided by the ABS.
FAD provides the membership list of each political party applying for registration to the Enrolment Section for a check of which members appear or have appeared on the electoral roll at some point.
The membership list submitted by the Building Australia Party with its application for registration was checked against the electoral roll, the number of people for whom no match could be found reduced the party membership list to 648, which is well above the minimum of 500 required.
The party provided a reasonably detailed constitution with its application. Due to the fact that the constitution did not state endorsement of candidates for a federal election as one of its aims, the party was contacted and advised to amend the constitution according to its rules. The party sent an updated version of the pages that were amended.
The party's constitution now states the endorsement of candidates at a federal election as one of its objectives. It includes significant detail in relation to the structure of the party. It also discusses the terms and conditions of membership of the party in significant detail.
The constitution does not define the positions of the executive committee except the role of the secretary which is consistent with the provisions of s123 of the Electoral Act. However the constitution provides for model rules for incorporated associations in NSW to take precedence over the constitutional provisions of the party.
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. That it:
The name sought is Building Australia Party and the party abbreviation requested is Building Australia. FAD has checked the Federal Register of Political Parties and that of each State and Territory and there is a Building Australia Party registered with the NSW Electoral Commission for endorsing candidates to NSW State Parliament and local government elections. It is clear from the officers and the original constitution provided with the application that the parties are related. FAD considers that the proposed name and abbreviation do not invoke any of the prohibitions in s129.
No objections to the registration of the Building Australia Party were received by the closing date.
I am satisfied the Party is an eligible political party under s123 of the Electoral Act.
The Building Australia Party is registered.
Director, Funding and Disclosure
Delegate of the Australian Electoral Commission