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Constitution Alteration (Electors' Initiative, Fixed Term Parliaments and Qualification of Members) 2000 [2008]
Schedule 1 Amendments of the Constitution relating to alterations of the Constitution by electors’ initiative


1  Section 128

Omit “except in the following manner:”, substitute “except as provided by this Chapter:”.

2  After section 128

Insert, in Chapter VIII:

129  Alteration of Constitution on electors’ initiative

                   A person who is, or a group of persons each of whom is, qualified to vote for the election of members of the House of Representatives for a State or Territory may be registered by the Australian Electoral Commission as the proponent, or the proponents, of a proposal to amend the Constitution.

                   The proponent or proponents so registered may present to the Australian Electoral Commission a petition, addressed to the Governor-General to cause to be put to the people by way of referendum the proposed law to amend the Constitution endorsed on, or attached to, the petition.

                   A proposed law to alter the Constitution shall contain an alteration, or alterations, necessary to achieve a single purpose only.

                   The Australian Electoral Commission shall cause to be printed copies of the petition and forms for signature by electors who wish to sign the petition and shall furnish the copies and forms to the proponent, or proponents, concerned.

                   During the period of 6 months commencing on a date determined by the Australian Electoral Commission, being a date not less than 7 days after the copies and forms are so forwarded, the petition may be signed by any elector in a State or Territory who was qualified to vote for the election of a member of the House of Representatives at the general election that last preceded the date so fixed.

                   Where, at the expiration of that period of 6 months, the petition has been duly signed by electors to a number not less than 5 per centum of the number of electors who voted at that general election, the proponent or proponents may present the petition and signatures to the Australian Electoral Commission.

                   If the Australian Electoral Commission is, after random sampling of the signatures to the petition, satisfied that it was signed as so required during that period, it shall present the petition to the Governor-General.

                   The Governor-General shall, subject to this section, at the next general election of the House of Representatives, submit the proposed law endorsed on or attached to the petition to the electors in each State and Territory qualified to vote for the election of the House of Representatives.

                   Paragraphs 3, 4, 5 and 6 of section 128 apply to the proposed law as if the proposed law had been agreed to by both Houses of the Parliament.

                   The Australian Electoral Commission may arrange for argument in favour of, or against, the proposed law, prepared by a person, or body of persons, to be furnished, at the expense of that person or body, to electors.

                   At any time during the period of 6 months previously referred to, the Attorney-General or any other person qualified to vote for the election of the House of Representatives may make application to the Federal Court of Australia for a declaration that the proposed law is not in the appropriate form or does not seek to change the Constitution in a manner that is practicable or legally effective and, if the Court makes the declaration, the petition shall be treated as having no force or effect.

                   The Parliament may make laws with respect to matters incidental to the alteration of the Constitution as provided in this section.

                   In this section, a reference to the Australian Electoral Commission includes a reference to any person or body that, for the time being, has responsibility for the administration of electoral laws in substitution for that Commission.