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Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Improving Electoral Procedure) Bill 2012

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2010-2011-2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

ELECTORAL AND REFERENDUM AMENDMENT (IMPROVING ELECTORAL PROCEDURE) BILL 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADDENDUM TO THE

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Special Minister of State,

the Honourable Gary Gray AO MP)

 



This addendum responds to concerns raised by the Scrutiny of Bills Committee in Alert Digest No. 8 of 2012, dated 15 August 2012, and Eleventh Report of 2012 dated 19 September 2012.

 

SCHEDULE 1 - ITEM 2 - Proposed section 28

SCHEDULE 1 - ITEM 91 - Proposed section 138

At the end of paragraphs 5 and 74, insert the following:

 

The amendments proposed by Items 2 and 91 of Schedule 1 perform essentially the same work with respect to the delegation power of the Electoral Commissioner under the Electoral Act and the Referendum Act.

 

The amendments resulted from Recommendation 12 of the Report of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (JSCEM) into the conduct of the 2010 federal election.  JSCEM supported legislative recognition of the current streamlined automated arrangements that the Australian Electoral Commission uses to manage postal votes.  In accordance with Recommendation 12, the amendments to the delegation power, coupled with the amendments to the postal voting arrangements set out in Part XV of the Electoral Act, were made to ensure that the Electoral Commissioner could better manage the way in which practical functions and processes for postal voting are conducted.

 

The amendments seek to recognise the greater level of technology that is being applied now to the whole process of postal vote applications, and to facilitate better handling of an increasing number of postal vote applications.  The amendments are intended to allow the necessary delegation of practical electoral functions to officers, while reserving certain critical functions to the Electoral Commissioner.

 

The proposed amendments to section 28 of the Electoral Act and section 138 of the Referendum Act do not remove the Electoral Commissioner’s responsibility for the central functions contained in Parts III and IV of the Electoral Act.  These Parts refer to establishing representation for the House of Representatives and redistribution of electoral boundaries.