File reference: Reg5106, 13/398
The delegate of the Australian Electoral Commission determined that the application to register the Natural Medicine Party under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 should be refused.
Each application for party registration is assessed against a list of the tests that are based on the legal provisions of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Electoral Act) or Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) policy.
On 4 June 2013, a delegate of the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) refused an application from the Natural Medicine Party (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 13 May 2013. On 22 May 2013, the AEC issued a notice under s.131 of the Electoral Act advising the Party that after initial testing it could not find at least 500 members of the party that were on the electoral roll, as required under section 123(1)(a)(ii) of the Electoral Act.
On 28 May 2013, the Party responded to the notice with a revised membership list.
Section 123 of the Electoral Act requires a non-Parliamentary party to have at least 500 members on the Electoral Roll before the party is eligible for registration.
To ascertain whether the submitted members are on the Electoral Roll, the membership list is first checked against a database of the Electoral Roll using automatic matching software. Manual matches are then conducted by AEC staff to account for typographical and data errors such as misspelt names or incorrectly entered dates of birth.
AEC staff then contact a random sample of members to ensure that those members will confirm that they are members of the party applying for registration. The random sample is drawn from the membership list in accordance with advice from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The membership testing table can be found at Appendix 3 of the AEC’s Party Registration Guide.
The AEC test of the revised membership list indicated that 453 members could be automatically matched to the electoral roll. A further 36 members of the Party were matched during the manual matching process. This meant that the Party only had 489 members which could be identified on the electoral roll which is short of the requirement of 500 members set out in the Electoral Act.
The AEC checked members on the membership list lodged by the Party on 28 May 2013 against the electoral roll both automatically and manually, but could not identify 500 members that were on the electoral roll.
The AEC could not be satisfied that the Party was eligible for registration as a political party under s.123 of the Electoral Act.
The delegate of the AEC refused the application for registration from the Natural Medicine Party.
4 June 2013