Senate debates

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Bills

Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016; In Committee

11:34 pm

Photo of Mathias CormannMathias Cormann (WA, Liberal Party, Minister for Finance) Share this | Hansard source

Thank you very much, Senator Collins. You actually now are asking me to assist in the Labor filibuster, because clearly you have run out of material. You are now asking me to read to you section 329 of the Electoral Act. So I will oblige. In an abundance of helpfulness, I will now read out for you section 329 of the Electoral Act:

Misleading or deceptive publications etc.

(1) A person shall not, during the relevant period in relation to an election under this Act, print, publish or distribute, or cause, permit or authorize to be printed, published or distributed, any matter or thing that is likely to mislead or deceive an elector in relation to the casting of a vote.

(4) A person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence punishable on conviction:

(a) if the offender is a natural person—by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 6 months, or both; or

(b) if the offender is a body corporate—by a fine not exceeding $5,000.

(5) In a prosecution of a person for an offence against subsection (4) by virtue of a contravention of subsection (1), it is a defence if the person proves that he or she did not know, and could not reasonably be expected to have known, that the matter or thing was likely to mislead an elector in relation to the casting of a vote.

…   …   …

(5A) Section 15.2 of the Criminal Code (extended geographical jurisdiction—category B) applies to an offence against subsection (4).

(6) In this section, publish includes publish by radio, television, internet or telephone.

That pretty well covers it.

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