Announcement of 2024 Election Date and the Electoral Matters Amendment Bill

Issued by Social Justice Assembly – 27 February 2024

With the election date set for 29 May, we are concerned that the short period available before the election may create pressure on the legislative process that preempts certain important decisions and procedural steps. The amendment Bill is unlikely to be enforced within the electoral timetable thus affecting independent candidates who would not have broadcast rights, for example.

The Electoral Matters Amendment Bill amends critical sections of the Political Party Funding Act, that stand alongside PAIA as the legislation enabling our constitutional right to access information, as envisaged by section 32 of the Constitution. These amendments therefore have constitutional implications that are important for safeguarding the integrity of our democratic and electoral environment. It is imperative that any such matters be afforded the appropriate attention, and that there is scrupulous adherence to procedural norms. We are concerned that the seeming haste imposed on the legislative process will undermine the validity of that process, potentially opening the door to legal challenges that we can ill afford in our delicate electoral landscape.