File reference: Reg5284, 13/371
The delegate of the Australian Electoral Commission determined that 21st Century Australia should be registered under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.
Each application to enter a political party in the Register of Political Parties is assessed against the requirements in Part XI of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Act).
The Australian Electoral Commission (the AEC) received an application from 21st Century Australia (the Party) on 6 May 2013, to be registered as a non-parliamentary political party under the Act. On 24 May 2013, the AEC issued a notice under s.131 of the 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 Act. The AEC also advised the Party of a deficiency in its constitution.
On 5 June 2013, the Party responded to the notice with a revised membership list and constitution. The amended constitution addressed the concerns raised by the notice under s.131, but the revised membership list failed to identify sufficient members as being on the electoral roll. Only 484 members were able to be identified as enrolled.
On 17 June 2013, the delegate of the AEC refused the application for registration from the Party.
On 19 June 2013, the AEC received a second application from the Party to be registered as a non-parliamentary political party under the Act.
The AEC conducted a series of tests usually undertaken as part of the initial consideration of an application. On 27 June 2013, a delegate of the AEC found that the Party's application would need to be refused and issued a notice under s.131 of the Act. The notice advised the Party that six people out of a random sample of 30 people from the membership list had denied that they were members of the Party.
The Party provided an amended application with an updated list of Party members on 4 July 2013. On 15 July 2013, a delegate found that the Party's application complied with the eligibility requirements of the Act and approved the advertisement of the Party's application for public input. On 15 July 2013, the application was advertised on the AEC website and then in 10 newspapers achieving coverage throughout Australia as required by s.132 of the Act.
No objections to the registration of the Party were received before the deadline of 15 August 2013.
The last date by which objections could be received was Thursday 15 August 2013.
No objections were received, but writs for the 2013 federal election had been issued on Monday 5 August 2013. The Party was advised on 4 August 2013 about the delay caused by the issue of the writs.
Following the issue of the writs for the election, the AEC received several representations from various people claiming it had unfairly treated the Party and delayed the processing of its application to ensure the Party could not contest the 2013 federal election. The AEC notes that it advised the Party on 24 May, 17 June and 27 June 2013 respectively of successive failures of the Party to demonstrate it satisfied the legislative requirements for registration. A large number of organisations applied for registration as political parties in 2013. Most of those organisations either developed their organisations to meet the legislative requirements described in the AEC’s Party Registration Guide before they lodged their applications, or followed the AEC’s first advice to make necessary amendments. Those parties were registered successfully in time to contest the election.
The Party’s second application was assessed by a delegate of the AEC on 15 July 2013 and no reason was found to refuse it. The application was advertised as required by s.132 of the Act. No objection was made to the registration of the Party.
The delegate of the AEC registered the Party as set out below.
Notice under section 133(1A)(a)
On 7 November 2013, as delegate of the Australian Electoral Commission for the purposes of Part XI of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, I entered the following party in the Register of Political Parties.
Delegate of the Australian Electoral Commission