Electoral Act Review

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 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.

Interim Report

The Electoral Act Review commenced on 9 June 2018. The Interim Report of the Review has now been released by the Attorney-General.

The Interim Report includes a range of consultation issues that were informed by public submissions in relation to the Terms of Reference for the Review as well as research in relation to the electoral laws applying in other Australian jurisdictions and relevant international comparisons.

Consultation on the Interim Report will inform recommendations in a Final Report which is due in 2019.

Consultation on the Interim Report is open until 15 April 2019.

Electoral Amendment Bill 2019 - consultation draft

The Government is also seeking feedback on a draft Bill (PDF, 316.6 KB) containing a first tranche of technical amendments to the Electoral Act. The proposed amendments include amendments to address difficulties arising from delays in postal delivery times and other changes to improve the operation of the Act. The amendments also include the removal of the ban on newspaper commentary and reporting on Election Day.

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.

Consultation on the draft Bill is closed.

Terms of Reference

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 is guided by two governing principles:

  • protecting freedom of speech, with note to Constitutional implications, and
  • minimal cost to the taxpayer.

Consultation on the Terms of Reference is closed.