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Response to question on notice: Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017

The Law Council appeared before the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters in relation to its inquiry into the Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017 on 5 October 2018.

In the course of providing evidence, the Law Council was asked to consider the Supplementary Explanatory Memorandum (Supplementary EM), and in particular its attempts to clarify the Bill and its approach to defining the scope of terms such as ‘electoral matter’ and ‘electoral expenditure’.

On multiple occasions, the Supplementary EM states that general issue-based advocacy is not intended to be captured by the proposed measures.

However, following a review of the Supplementary EM, the Law Council considers that several of the examples set out in the Supplementary EM may involve general issue based advocacy with the potential for that advocacy to be in furtherance of a charitable purpose. Several of the examples, therefore, may operate in a manner inconsistent with the stated intent of the legislation.

You can read the full submission below.

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