Party registration decision: Carers Alliance

Updated: 4 January 2011

Party entered in the Register of Political Parties

File reference: Reg2529, 07/1082

The delegate of the Australian Electoral Commission determined that the application by Carers Alliance to be registered as a political party under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 should be accepted and the Party entered in the Register of Political Parties.

Background

On 3 July 2007, the Australian Electoral Commission (the AEC) received an application from Carers Alliance (the Party) for 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. No written submissions objecting to the Party's registration were received.

On 6 August 2007, the delegate of the AEC conducted a series of tests usually undertaken as part of the initial consideration of the Party's application and issued a letter to the Party suggesting the Party submit an updated membership list.

On 20 August 2007 the Party responded to the delegate's letter.

Application of the relevant legal provisions

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 Electoral 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 this website.

The relevant provisions require this Party to:

  • be an organisation with an aim of promoting candidates it endorses for election to the House of Representatives and/or the Senate;
  • have at least 500 members eligible to be on the electoral roll;
  • make application for registration in the manner prescribed in section 126; and
  • propose a name and optional abbreviation for registration that is not prohibited by section 129.

Political party

The Party meets the definition under subsection 4(1) of the Electoral Act as it is an organisation based on a constitution, including an objective to "endorse unpaid family carer candidates to contest federal, state and local elections".

The Party passes this test.

The application

The Party has satisfied the technical requirements in section 126 for an application for party registration.

Secretary

The Party passes this test as its constitution provides a description of the responsibilities of the secretary.

Membership

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; and 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.

To test that a party has 500 members who are entitled to enrolment, the AEC:

  • removes from the list members under 17 years of age;
  • removes any duplicate memberships on the list;
  • removes people who have already been used by another party to establish its eligibility for registration; and
  • conducts a random test for fraudulent membership.

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 FAD 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 have 500 members.

After having failed the initial random sample check, the Party provided a new list of members to the AEC.

A second random sample check of 20 members was completed in August 2007. Nineteen out of 20 members confirmed their membership. A check against all available membership lists was conducted, and of the 535 members provided by the Party, no duplicates were found.

The AEC 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.

Constitution

The Party has a constitution that was provided with its application. The constitution contains the following matters relevant to registration:

  • a clear aim of promoting candidates for election to the Senate or the House of Representatives;
  • identification of the role of Secretary; and
  • detailed membership criteria.

The Party passes this test.

Party name

Section 129 prohibits the registration of parties with certain names. A party cannot be registered if its name or abbreviation is:

  • longer than six words;
  • perceived to be obscene;
  • the name, abbreviation, or acronym of the name of another political party (not being a political party that is related to the applicant party) that is a recognised political party;
  • so nearly resembling the name, abbreviation, or acronym of the name of another recognised political party (not being a political party that is related to the applicant party) that it is likely to be confused with that other recognised political party;
  • one that a reasonable person would think, suggests a connection or relationship with another registered political party, if that relationship does not exist;
  • comprised of the words 'Independent Party';
  • comprised of, or contains, the word 'Independent', and the name, abbreviation or acronym of a recognised political party; or
  • comprised of, or contains, the word 'Independent' and matter, that so nearly resembles the name, or an abbreviation or acronym of the name of a recognised political party, that the matter is likely to be confused with, or mistaken for, that recognised political party.

There are no political parties with a similar name currently registered at State, Territory or Federal level in Australia.

The Party passes the names test.

Objections

No written submissions were received by the AEC in relation to the Party.

Conclusion

Carers Alliance has now been registered.

Paul Dacey
Deputy Electoral Commissioner
Delegate of the Australian Electoral Commission
4 September 2007

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