Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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Statutory Rules 1997 No. 411

Issued by the authority of the Special Minister of State

Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918

Electoral and Referendum Regulations (Amendment)

Section 395 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Act) provides that the GovernorGeneral may make regulations for the purposes of the Act.

The amendments are to Regulation 7 and Part 2 of Schedule 2 of the Electoral and Referendum Regulations in force under the Act and the Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984.

The purpose of the proposed amendments is to add the names of three Commonwealth government agencies to the list of prescribed authorities in Schedule 2 and to provide a more distinct link to the Schedule of such prescribed authorities.

Regulation 7 provides that the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) may supply the a microfiche of the roll, or information containing the particulars of electors' gender, occupation and dates of birth to prescribed authorities authorised for the purpose of subsection 91(10) of the Act. Prescribed authorities are defined in subsection 91(10) of the Act as the Secretary of a Department or the chief executive officer of an authority of the Commonwealth that is specified in the regulations. However, currently Regulation 7 refers only to " prescribed authorities under subsection 91(10) of the Act and makes no reference to Schedule 2 of the Electoral and Referendum Regulations. The amendment will provide the appropriate link to Schedule 2.

Schedule 2 sets out the Commonwealth Departments and Authorities, that are entitled, under subsections 91 (10) and (11) of the Act and Regulations 7, 8 and 9, to receive information set out in subsection 91(9) of the Act, that is, information which discloses the particulars of occupations, gender or dates of birth of electors.

The names of three organisations, Centrelink, Director of Public Prosecutions and Environment Australia, should be added to Part 2 of Schedule 2. The AEC is satisfied that access to particulars of the occupations, gender or dates of birth of electors has been justified by these organisations under Information Privacy Principle 11 of the Privacy Act 1988.

The proposed amendments to Schedule 2 will commence on gazettal.

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