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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (29 March) . . Page.. 1128 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

pregnancy or other condition. This mirrors a recent Commonwealth amendment along similar lines.

Another change made is to delay the start of the pre-poll period if it is otherwise due to commence on a public holiday.

The Bill also provides for major changes to the disclosure provisions to break the nexus with the Commonwealth scheme and to require a greater level of disclosure, such as requiring all amounts received to be taken into account when disclosure thresholds for parties, ballot groups, MLAs and associated entities are calculated (at present individual donations of less than $560 do not have to be taken into account, creating, a potential loophole in the scheme). The Bill will also extend the disclosure obligations currently imposed on independent MLAs to cover all MLAs, and extend the obligations imposed on associated entities to bring them into line with the obligations imposed on parties.

In order to more clearly identify sources of political advertising, the Bill provides that, where printed electoral matter is being published by or on behalf of a registered political party, ballot group or a candidate, the name of the party, ballot group or candidate should be included on the authorisation statement with the name and address of the person who authorised the matter.

An amendment will also be made to the definition of "electoral matter", which is used to identify material that requires authorisation, to limit its application to matter more directly concerned with a Legislative Assembly election. At present the definition catches too wide a range of material.

The Bill also makes a range of other relatively minor changes that are spelt out in the Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill.

This Bill, and the accompanying Bill increasing the number of versions of the ballot papers printed under the Robson rotation method, will further refine the ACT's electoral system to ensure that the ACT continues to follow best practice in the conduct of its elections.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stanhope ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Electoral (Entrenched Provisions) Amendment Bill 2001

Mr Stefaniak , pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Attorney-General) (10.48): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I seek leave to have my speech incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speech read as follows:

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