Registration of the Australia First Party (NSW) Incorporated

Updated: 4 January 2011

File reference: Reg3740

The delegate of the Australian Electoral Commission determined that the Australia First Party (NSW) Incorporated should be registered under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

Background

On 2 October 2009, the AEC received an application from the Australia First Party (NSW) Incorporated for registration as a federal political party under the provisions of the Electoral Act.

On 27 April 2010 the delegate determined that the party had passed its initial consideration for party registration.

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 document on the AEC 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 (s4);
  • be eligible for registration (s123), that is have at least 500 members eligible to be on the electoral roll, that have not been relied upon for registration by another political party;
  • make application for registration in the manner prescribed in s126; and
  • propose a name and optional abbreviation for registration that are not prohibited by s129.

Application of relevant legal provisions

Political party

The party is established on the basis of a constitution, which sets up an organisation with established principles and sets out its objectives. One of its objectives includes endorsing candidates to contest Senate and House of Representatives elections.

The party has its own phone number, as well as a physical address, a postal address and an active website.

FAD assessed the party as meeting the test of being a political party under s.4 of Electoral Act.

Application

FAD assessed the application against the technical requirements in s126(1)(b) and s126(2) of the Act, as listed above. The application by the Australia First Party (NSW) Incorporated was submitted on the standard form made publicly available on the AEC website. The application set out the name and abbreviation of the party, includes the details of the registered officer and included a list of 500 member names. It was also signed by 10 members of the party, including the secretary.

Secretary

The role of Party Secretary was not clearly described in the Party's constitution. The constitution mentions that the secretary is responsible for calling Annual General Meetings and Special General Meetings and that it must take the minutes of the meetings of the National Council. More detail is required to align the definition with that given in s123 of the Electoral Act of the person responsible for the administration and for the conduct of correspondence of the party. The party was advised in correspondence sent by the AEC that it should consider amending its constitution to define the position of secretary so that it reflects the definition in s123.

Membership

Section 123 of the Electoral Act requires a non-parliamentary party to have at least 500 members who are entitled to enrolment. 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.

Australia First Party (NSW) Incorporated membership testing results

The sample size of members to be contacted during the membership testing of the Australia First Party (NSW) Incorporated was determined according to a table provided by the ABS. The total number of eligible members provided by Australia First Party (NSW) Incorporated was 521 and the number of contacts required is 30.

FAD contacted 30 individuals listed on the Australia First Party (NSW) Incorporated membership list and all 30 confirmed that they were members of the party.

Enrolment check of membership list

FAD provides the membership list of each political party applying for registration to the Enrolment Section for a check of which members appear or have appeared on the electoral roll at some point.

The membership list submitted by Australia First Party (NSW) Incorporated with its application for registration was checked against the electoral roll. The number of people for whom no match could be found reduced the party membership list to 521, which is still above the minimum of 500 required.

Constitution

The party provided a reasonably detailed constitution with its application. The party's constitution states the endorsement of candidates at a federal election as one of its objectives. It includes significant detail in relation to the structure of the party. It also discusses the terms and conditions of membership of the party in significant detail.

The constitution did not clearly define the position of the secretary of the party in relation to the role as described on s123 of the Electoral Act as the person responsible for the "administration and for the conduct of the correspondence of the party" and the party was advised to amend the constitution to align it with this definition.

The party submitted a revised constitution on 3 June 2010 which includes a definition of the position of secretary that concords with s123 of the Electoral Act.

Party Name

Section 129 prohibits the registration of parties with certain names. Specifically, the name shall not be approved if any of the following conditions are met. That it:

  • 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 recognisedpolitical 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 sought is Australia First Party (NSW) Incorporated and the party abbreviation requested is Australia First Party. FAD has checked the Federal Register of Political Parties and that of each State and Territory and there was an Australia First (Council Elections) Party registered with the NSW Electoral Commission for local government elections. FAD considers that the proposed name and abbreviation do not invoke any of the prohibitions in s129.

Objections

No objections to the registration of the Australia First Party (NSW) Incorporated were received by the closing date.

Conclusion

I am satisfied the Party is an eligible political party under s123 of the Electoral Act.

The Australia First Party (NSW) Incorporated is registered.

Sue Sayer
Director, Funding and Disclosure
Delegate of the Australian Electoral Commission

June 2010

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