File reference: Reg2479 – 07/971
The delegate of the Australian Electoral Commission determined that the application by the Non-Custodial Parents Party (Equal Parenting) to be re-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 25 June 2007, the Australian Electoral Commission (the AEC) received an application from the Non-Custodial Parents Party (Equal Parenting) (the Party) for re-registration as a political party under the provisions of Part XI of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Electoral Act).
The Party's application was advertised in the Commonwealth Gazette on Friday 20 July 2007 and in 10 newspapers circulating in the various states and territories on Monday 23 July 2007. No objections were received.
On 6 August 2007, the delegate of the AEC noted that the Party's application had passed the internal AEC tests for 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 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 an organisation based on a constitution, including an objective to 'endorse candidates to contest Federal (and if possible State and Local Government) Elections'. The party has also previously been registered with the AEC as a political party and has lodged political party annual returns.
The application conforms to the requirements in s.126 of the Act, in that it:
The applicant 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 Amending 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.
The Party has satisfied the technical requirements in section 126 for an application for party registration.
The Party passes this test as its constitution provides a description of the 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. 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 July 2007. All 20 members confirmed their membership. A check against all available membership lists was conducted, and of the 503 members provided by the Party, no duplicates were found.
FAD is of the view that the Party has demonstrated that there is no fraud in its membership list and that it has the 500 members to be eligible for registration.
The Party has a 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. A party cannot be registered if its name or abbreviation is:
The registers in each state and territory were checked and no party was identified that might prohibit the registration of 'Non-Custodial Parents Party (Equal Parenting)' under section 129. The party did not apply for a registered abbreviation.
Before a decision can be made on an application to register a political party, the AEC is required to advertise the application seeking written submissions objecting to the registration of the party.
Written submissions objecting to an application to register a political party can only address three matters:
No written submissions were received in relation to this Party.
The application from the Non-Custodial Parents Party (Equal Parenting) to be re-registered as a political party is approved.
Deputy Electoral Commissioner
Delegate of the Australian Electoral Commission
28 August 2007