Australian Democrats deregistered by AEC

Dear Commissioner,

We don’t have 500 members, why we have to submit a return every year?

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

Eddie Hwang


Unity Party WA (published)     (published)

Fax/hone: 61893681884

Safe the trees – Use email

UPWA is the only political Party that calls a spade a spade.

Australian Democrats face oblivion as party deregistered by AEC

Date – April 17, 2015 – 7:53AM

Lisa Cox

At the height of their popularity they held the balance of power in the Senate and helped the Howard government pass the GST.

But almost 40 years after they were established to “keep the bastards honest”, the Australian Democrats have been deregistered as a political party, according to the Australian Electoral Commission.

In a short statement on Thursday, the AEC said it had deregistered the party because it had not met the required threshold of 500 members.

“The Australian Democrats was registered on 5 July 1984 and deregistered on 16 April 2015,” it says.

It is a blow for a party that was crucial in allowing the Howard government to pass the GST in 1999 – a move that proved controversial and divisive within the party.

The party was founded in 1977 by former Liberal minister Don Chipp with the aim of providing a centralist alternative to the major parties.

Notable leaders included Janine Haines, Cheryl Kernot, Meg Lees, Natasha Stott Despoja and Aden Ridgeway.

The party played an influential role in the Senate throughout the ’80s and ’90s, but gradually conceded influence to the Greens, losing its last four Senate seats at the 2007 election.

The party has previously survived a number of attempts to shut it down because of dwindling membership numbers.

Australian Democrats national president Darren Churchill said the party would appeal.

The AEC gives parties 28 days to appeal deregistration in writing.

Mr Churchill said the party had supplied a list of 550 names to the AEC, as is its requirement when being tested for membership numbers.

He said the AEC then called a sample from that list and some of those people had denied they were members.

“So they’ve deemed under their rules that we don’t have the required 500 members,” he said.

Mr Churchill said the democrats had at least 750 members in New South Wales alone and had fielded 15 upper house candidates in the recent NSW election.

“I’d estimate it’s over 1000 members [Australia-wide],” he said.

“It’s just some members are inactive, some don’t renew and don’t tell us.

“We’ll go to the appeals process and see where it takes us from there. There’s plenty of options open to us.”