Party registration decision: Peter Andren Independent Group

Updated: 4 January 2011

Party entered in the Register of Political Parties

File reference: Reg2328a, 2007/387

The delegate of the Australian Electoral Commission determined that the application by the Peter Andren Independent Group 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 12 April 2007, the Australian Electoral Commission (the AEC) received an application from the Peter Andren Independent Group (the Party) for registration as a political party under the provisions of Part XI of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Electoral Act).

On 28 May 2007, the Delegate of the AEC determined the initial consideration of the Party's application and approved the advertising of the Party's application to invite objections. The Party's application was advertised in the Commonwealth Gazette and in 10 newspapers circulating in the various states and territories on Wednesday 6 June 2007. No objections were received.

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 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.

In relation to this Party, the relevant provisions require it to:

  • be an organisation with an aim of promoting candidates it endorses for election to the House of Representatives and/or the Senate (s.4);
  • be eligible for registration (s.123), that is have either at least 500 members eligible to be on the electoral roll, or a member who is a member of the Commonwealth Parliament, that have not been relied upon for registration by another political party;
  • make application for registration in the manner prescribed in s.126; and
  • propose a name and optional abbreviation for registration that is not prohibited by s.129.

Application of relevant legal provisions

Political party

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 AEC determined that the Party is an organisation on the basis of the minutes it supplied of its inaugural meeting and the organisation structure set out in the Party's constitution. The Party's constitution records a purpose of endorsing candidates to contest Senate elections.

The Party is accepted as a political party as defined in section 4 of the Electoral Act.

The application

The application conforms to the technical requirements set out in section 126 of the Electoral Act.

The membership

Section 123 of the Act requires a Parliamentary party have a member who is a member of the Commonwealth Parliament. Mr Peter Andren MP, Member for Calare, confirmed that he is a member of the Party.

The Party satisfies the membership criterion in section 123 of the Electoral Act.

Constitution

The Party's constitution contains the following matters relevant to registration:

  • an aim of endorsing candidates for election to the Senate; and
  • an office of secretary.

The Party's constitution satisfies the requirements of the Electoral Act.

Party name

Section 129 of the Electoral Act prohibits the registration of parties with certain names. This is called the names test. The names test requires that a political party cannot be registered if its name or abbreviation:

  • is more than six words;
  • is perceived to be obscene;
  • is 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 resembles 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;
  • is one that a reasonable person would think suggests a connection or relationship with another registered political party, if that relationship does not exist;
  • is comprised of the words 'Independent Party';
  • is comprised of, or contains, the word 'Independent', and the name, abbreviation or acronym of a recognised political party; or
  • is 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.

The name 'Peter Andren Independent Group' or the abbreviation 'Peter Andren Independent' do not offend any of these prohibitions.

The Party passes the names test in section 129 of the Electoral Act.

Conclusion

The AEC saw no reason to refuse to register the Party and no objections were lodged to its registration following its advertisement.

The Peter Andren Independent Group has been registered.

Paul Dacey
Deputy Electoral Commissioner
Delegate of the Australian Electoral Commission

19July 2007

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