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Annual Report 2010-2011 Northern Territory Electoral Commission



Annual Report 2010-2011 Northern Territory Electoral Commission

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Tabled paper 1602


Tabled Papers for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT




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19 3.2.7 Northern Territory Statehood and election for delegates to a Constitutional Convention The Statehood Steering Committee concluded its work of conducting a series of public forums on statehood for the NT in urban and remote centres throughout the Territory and released a report in late 2010 to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee (LCAC) of the NT Parliament. The latter appointed a new advisory committee, the NT Constitutional Convention Committee (NTCCC), to plan for a convention and advise the LCAC on resources and other requirements. Originally, a Constitutional Convention was envisaged for November 2011 preceded by an election for delegates to be conducted by the NTEC. It was later announced that an election be held in conjunction with local government elections in March 2012. The Commission opened preliminary discussions with the Statehood Steering Committee Executive Officer, prior to its conclusion, regarding the potential role of the Commission in any election of delegates and the practical pre-requisites and logistics for that to occur. A continuing dialogue will be required with the Convention Committee regarding the role of the NTEC in any election for convention delegates. The NTEC will also contribute, where appropriate, to the development and implementation of legislation for any convention election. The NTEC is mindful that if a conjoint election is held, there will be a requirement to poll in unincorporated areas and localities that might otherwise be uncontested at the LG polls. The NTEC is also mindful of the budgetary implications of any election related activities. 3.2.8 Party registration The NT now has four registered parties following the gazettal of The First Nations Political Party on 23 May 2011. 3.2.9 Disclosure NT electoral legislation does not provide for election funding. The NT Electoral Act Part 10 ss176 to 224 require annual disclosure by registered parties and their associated entities and election specific disclosure returns from candidates, publishers and broadcasters. Originally Commonwealth and Territory disclosure requirements were aligned. However, when the previous Commonwealth Government significantly increased the threshold limits for disclosure in 2006, this alignment ceased. The Commonwealth Government indicated on taking office in November 2007 that it intended to lower the threshold limits for disclosure to below that of the Territory. To date no new Commonwealth provisions have been effected, meaning that NT parties cannot submit a Commonwealth return for NT purposes. Amendments to the provisions of the Commonwealth Electoral Act (CEA) regarding disclosure thresholds were passed by the House of Representatives and introduced in the Senate on 17 November 2010. The second reading speech was adjourned that same day. There are no funding or disclosure requirements for local government elections. During the reporting year, all three NT registered parties submitted their annual disclosure returns. Parties were reminded of their obligation [NTEA s196 (2)] to prompt associated entities contributing to them to comply with NT disclosure provisions and the threshold of $1500. Returns are due within 16 weeks of the financial year end and are to be posted by 1 March of the following year. During the year one partys return was followed up in respect to some of the detail it provided. This is not an unusual occurrence and a response is expected in due course. Disclosure returns for the Araluen by-election were submitted and were placed on the NTEC website on Monday 4 April 2011. The last annual review under the CEA legislation increased the threshold for 2010-11 to $11 500.