Part XI of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Electoral Act) deals with the registration of political parties. The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) maintains a Register of Political Parties (the Register) which includes all registered political party names, abbreviations and logos that can be printed on ballot papers at elections for the Senate and House of Representatives.
Political parties can lodge an application to register a new political party, or change the details held in the Register. The AEC will assess each application and associated documents against the requirements outlined in the Electoral Act or AEC policy.
When the Electoral Commission considers that the party’s application should not be refused under the Electoral Act, it must advertise the application in accordance with section 132 of the Electoral Act. This is advertised on the AEC website and in newspapers circulating generally in each State and Territory. The advertisement will give any person or organisation an opportunity to object to the registration of the party.
Objections are only considered if they meet the grounds set out under section 132 of the Electoral Act.
The grounds for lodging an objection to a party registration application (new party registration or a change to the Register) are outlined under section 132 of the Electoral Act. Objections can only be made on one or more of the following grounds:
Objections are only considered if they meet the grounds set out under section 132 of the Electoral Act and are received before the end of the time specified in the notice.
An objection must be in writing, signed by the objector, specify a street address for that objector (it cannot be a post office box address) and include the grounds under the Electoral Act that the objector considers that the application should be refused. Objections can be sent to:
Funding and Disclosure
The Electoral Commission will forward objections to the applicant political party to give it an opportunity to respond. Objections, as well as any response to an objection provided by the applicant political party, will be published on the AEC website. Please note that personal details provided in an objection or a response to an objection will be redacted by the AEC prior to being published on the AEC website for privacy reasons.
A delegate of the Electoral Commission will consider all relevant material and determine if the application will be approved or refused. Both objectors and the applicant party will be notified of the delegate’s decision and of their review rights should they be dissatisfied with the decision.
Decisions of a delegate of the Electoral Commission to approve or refuse registration or a change to the Register are published on the AEC website and are a reviewable decision under Part X the Electoral Act.