The Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Electoral Act) provides for the registration of political parties. Registration is not compulsory, but parties achieve several benefits by being registered under the Electoral Act:
Political parties can apply for registration under the Electoral Act. The AEC examines each application and associated documents to assess if the party is entitled to registration under the provisions set out in the Electoral Act. The AEC then advertises the application in newspapers around the country to allow any person a period of one month in which to object to the registration.
Objections are only considered if they are on grounds set out in the Electoral Act. Section 132 of the Electoral Act sets out the following permitted grounds for objection to an application for party registration:
An objection must be in writing, signed by the objector, specify a street address for that objector and include the grounds for the objector's belief that the application for party registration should be refused.
An objection must be submitted within one month of the appearance of the advertisement in the press and can be:
Mailed to the Electoral Commissioner
Australian Electoral Commission
Locked Bag 4007
Canberra ACT 2601
Faxed to 02 6293 7655
or emailed to email@example.com
The AEC will forward any objections received to the political party applying for registration to give it the opportunity to comment on them. The AEC then considers all relevant material and determines to register the political party or to refuse registration.
Both objectors and the party applying for registration will be advised of the AEC's decision and of their review rights.
For further information on objections, please refer to the Party Registration Guide.
Decisions of an AEC delegate to register or refuse registration are open to review by the three-person Australian Electoral Commission and in turn by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Party registration is administered by the Funding and Disclosure Section of the AEC: