Application for party registration refused – Pirate Party Australia

Updated: 7 March 2011

File reference: Reg4067, 10/646

Background

A list of the tests applied to each application for party registration is available.

On 18 February 2011, a delegate of the Australian Electoral Commission (the AEC) refused an application from Pirate Party Australia (the Party) for registration as a political party under the provisions of Part XI of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Electoral Act).

The AEC received an application from the Party on 21 June 2010. The initial assessment of the Party's application failed to satisfy the AEC that the Party has at least 500 members entitled to electoral enrolment as required by s123 of the Electoral Act. Despite three letters being sent to the Party on 18 July 2010, 15 October 2010 and 21 January 2011, no written response has been received from the proposed registered officer since the Prime Minister announced the 2010 federal election on 17 July 2010.

Details of the failed test

Entitlement to electoral enrolment

Section 123 of the Electoral Act requires a non-parliamentary party to have at least 500 members who are entitled to enrolment before the party is eligible for registration.

The AEC test of the Party's membership list indicated that there was evidence of electoral enrolment history for less than 500 members on the list. The Party was advised of this problem in a letter dated 15 October 2010 and reminded of the outstanding matter in a letter dated 21 January 2011. The 21 January 2011 letter advised the Party that if no response was received by 14 February 2011, the application would be considered as it stands. No response to either letter providing further membership evidence was received by the AEC.

The Party could have supplied the details of additional members and could have checked the enrolment of those additional members on-line from the records already held by the Party. Alternatively, the Party could have offered to provide independent evidence of the enrolment entitlement of the individual members for whom the AEC could not find that evidence.

Conclusion

The AEC could not be satisfied that the Party is eligible for registration as a political party under the Electoral Act without being satisfied that the Party has at least 500 members entitled to electoral enrolment. The Party did not respond to the AEC's enquiries to resolve this problem and the application was rejected.