Public Sector

Act in time for Local Elections in October

The Local Electoral Amendment Bill (No. 2) (Bill) passed its Third Reading on 25 June 2012 and received Royal assent on 28 June 2013.

With the exception of its application to donations received before 29 June 2013, and of decisions on representation arrangements that would affect the 2013 triennial general elections, its provisions are now in force as the Local Electoral Amendment Act (No 2) 2013 (Act) in time for the local elections this October.

As noted in our earlier commentary on the introduction of the Bill and the Justice and Electoral Select Committee's report back in March, the Act amends the Local Electoral Act 2001 (Principal Act) and the Local Electoral Regulations 2001 (Regulations).

Specifically, the Act amends provisions in the Principal Act and Regulations regarding:

  • the conduct of local elections;
  • transparency and accountability around electoral donations; and
  • the integrity and efficiency of the electoral system.

The Act also addresses third party donations and expenditure - a priority area identified in the Select Committee's report. The Act now contains a stronger definition of "anonymous" in relation to an electoral donation, and an obligation on a third party or a person transmitting a donation to disclose to a candidate the identity of the donor if known. Otherwise it must be treated as an anonymous donation.

These changes represent a significant overhaul to the Principal Act that brings it closer into line with the Electoral Act 1993 and the rules for Parliamentary elections.

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The contents of this publication are general in nature and are not intended to serve as a substitute for legal advice on a specific matter. In the absence of such advice no responsibility is accepted by Brookfields for reliance on any of the information provided in this publication.

 

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