Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Conduct of the 2007 federal election and matters related thereto
Joint committee
Monday, 11 May 2009
Conduct of the 2007 federal election and matters related thereto

CHAIR (Mr Melham) —I declare open this public hearing of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, the inquiry into the conduct of the 2007 federal election. In today’s hearing we will hear from the Australian Electoral Commission. This is the fourth and final time that the commission will appear before the committee in this inquiry. This is also going to be our final hearing, and we hope to table our report on Monday, 22 June, if things proceed as we anticipate.

The committee has just authorised the publication of four submissions from the commission, and the purpose of this hearing is to provide an opportunity for the committee to obtain further details on the issues raised in these submissions where required. The Australian Electoral Commission has suggested that the committee consider a number of changes to electoral law and administration, including options to facilitate electronic transactions by electors, such as updating enrolment details and postal voting applications, and enabling greater flexibility in the use of mobile polling to allow the Australian Electoral Commission to provide electoral services in a broader range of situations. The committee may also cover issues raised in a review conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission of the decision by the Court of Disputed Returns on disputed ballot papers in the division of McEwen.

The committee see some merit in accepting the review conducted by Mr Alan Henderson PSM during 2008 as an exhibit to the inquiry and publishing it on the committee’s website. While we are on that, could I have a resolution to that effect—that we have received the report of Alan Henderson dated October 2008, titled Review of ballot paper formality: guidelines and recount policy, as an exhibit into our inquiry.

Mr DANBY —I so move.

CHAIR —I declare the motion carried. I think the importance of that is that it obviously has come up as an issue before the inquiry. I think that is the most transparent way in which to do it. I would also like to thank today’s witnesses for appearing, and I now welcome representatives from the Australian Electoral Commission to today’s hearing.

[4.29 pm]