Electoral reform is an extremely important issue as the strength and integrity of our system is what ensures we have a functioning democracy.
That is why Labor takes any proposals for electoral reform seriously.
Labor will always deal with electoral reform in a consultative manner and consider any draft electoral legislation carefully, to protect our strong democratic system.
Labor has considered the Party Registration Integrity Bill and believes there are a number of changes proposed in this bill and other related pieces of legislation that would strengthen our electoral system.
The Party Registration Integrity Bill will increase the minimum number of members a non-parliamentary federal party needs for registration from 500 to 1500.
Currently, the federal jurisdiction is the easiest in which to register a party. New South Wales requires a political party to have 750 members before it can be registered, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia all require 500 members, South Australia requires 200 members and Tasmania requires a party to have 100 members.
It is reasonable to require a federally-registered party to have 1500 members when you compare the population of those states to the entire population of Australia. New South Wales has a population of 8 million and our national population is 26 million. New South Wales has a third of the population yet requires a party to have 250 more members than is required federally.
This bill will ensure that a political party has an appropriate level of community support, across Australia.
The bill also seeks to reduce voter confusion and the influence of big money through the infiltration of small political parties using the names of earlier-registered parties.
We know that some parties deliberately use words from the names of recognised parties for mischievous purposes. This bill will address that issue.