Electoral Act Review - Terms of Reference

On 3 May 2018, the Premier, Will Hodgman announced that the Government would conduct a review into Tasmania’s Electoral Act and associated election laws.

The Terms of Reference for the Review are:

  1. Modernising the current Tasmanian Electoral Act with specific examination of sections including 191(1)(b); 196(1) and 198(1)(b);
  2. Whether state-based disclosure rules should be introduced, and, if so, what they should include; and
  3. The level of regulation of third parties, including unions, during Election campaigns

The review will be guided by two governing principles; protecting freedom of speech, with note to Constitutional implications, and minimal cost to the taxpayer.

The recent State Election highlighted that some provisions in the Tasmanian Electoral Act 2004 and associated election laws have failed to keep pace with rapid changes in technology, social media and community expectations.

The Government recognises the importance of taking this opportunity to listen to all Tasmanians and ensure that we have a robust, democratic and fair electoral system that reflects Tasmania today.

The process will give every Tasmanian – political parties, organisations and the broader community – a chance to have their say.  The review will receive written submissions from any person or group that wishes to have a say.

Publishing submissions

Other than indicated below, submissions will be treated as public information and will be published on our website.

Submissions will be published once the Government’s consideration of submissions has concluded.

No personal information other than an individual’s name or the organisation making a submission will be published.

For further information, please read the Tasmanian Government Public Submissions Policy (external link).

Important information to note

  1. Your name (or the name of the organisation) will be published unless you request otherwise.
  2. In the absence of a clear indication that a submission is intended to be treated as confidential (or parts of the submission), the Department will treat the submission as public.
  3. If you would like your submission treated as confidential, whether in whole or in part, please indicate this in writing at the time of making your submission clearly identifying the parts of your submission you want to remain confidential and the reasons why. In this case, your submission will not be published to the extent of that request.
  4. Copyright in submissions remains with the author(s), not with the Tasmanian Government.
  5. The Department will not publish, in whole or in part, submissions containing defamatory or offensive material. If your submission includes information that could enable the identification of other individuals then either all or parts of the submission will not be published.

Accessibility of submissions

The Government recognises that not all individuals or groups are equally placed to access and understand information. We are therefore committed to ensuring Government information is accessible and easily understood by people with diverse communication needs.

Where possible, please consider typing your submission in plain English and providing it in a format such as Microsoft Word or equivalent.

The Government cannot however take responsibility for the accessibility of documents provided by third parties.

The Right to Information Act 2009 and confidentiality

Information provided to the Government may be provided to an applicant under the provisions of the Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI). If you have indicated that you wish all or part of your submission to be treated as confidential, your statement detailing the reasons may be taken into account in determining whether or not to release the information in the event of an RTI application for assessed disclosure. You may also be contacted to provide any further comment.

Progress with the Review

The Government has consulted on the Terms of Reference for the Review.  (insert link to consultation page).

An Interim Report was released in December 2018 with submissions closing in April 2019.  (insert link to interim report).

Next steps

  1. Submissions received on the Terms of Reference for the review and the Interim Report will inform the development of the Final Report.
  2. Final Report anticipated to be released by the end of 2019.
  3. The Government will then progress any legislative reforms to address recommendations arising from the Review.