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Regulations as made
These regulations cover matters relating to the election of officeholders to the Torres Strait Regional Authority, including nomination of candidates, conduct of an election, scrutiny of the ballot papers, declaration of a poll and recording the result of an election.
Administered by: Prime Minister and Cabinet
Registered 31 Mar 2019
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR02-Apr-2019
Tabled Senate03-Apr-2019

Commonwealth Coat of Arms of Australia

 

Torres Strait Regional Authority (Election of Officeholders) Regulations 2019

I, General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Ret’d), Governor‑General of the Commonwealth of Australia, acting with the advice of the Federal Executive Council, make the following regulations.

Dated 07 March 2019

Peter Cosgrove

Governor‑General

By His Excellency’s Command

Nigel Scullion

Minister for Indigenous Affairs

 

  

  

  


Contents

Part 1—Preliminary                                                                                                                                        1

1............ Name............................................................................................................................. 1

2............ Commencement............................................................................................................. 1

3............ Authority....................................................................................................................... 1

4............ Definitions..................................................................................................................... 1

5............ TSRA Chief Executive Officer...................................................................................... 2

Part 2—Election of officeholders at the first meeting of the TSRA after its election       3

Division 1—Nominations                                                                                                                       3

6............ Calling for nominations................................................................................................. 3

7............ Making nominations...................................................................................................... 3

8............ Declaration of nominations............................................................................................ 4

Division 2—Polling                                                                                                                                   6

9............ Order of polls................................................................................................................ 6

10.......... Deciding the order of candidates on ballot‑papers......................................................... 6

11.......... Ballot‑papers................................................................................................................. 6

12.......... Polling procedure.......................................................................................................... 6

13.......... Voting........................................................................................................................... 6

Division 3—Counting votes                                                                                                                 8

14.......... Scrutineers..................................................................................................................... 8

15.......... Conduct of the count..................................................................................................... 8

16.......... Informal ballot‑papers................................................................................................... 8

17.......... Completion of the count................................................................................................ 8

Division 4—Other matters                                                                                                                 10

18.......... Declaration.................................................................................................................. 10

19.......... Request for recount..................................................................................................... 10

Part 3—Other elections                                                                                                                               11

20.......... Election of new Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson.................................................. 11

21.......... Election of new alternate Deputy Chairperson............................................................. 11

Part 4—Miscellaneous                                                                                                                                 13

22.......... Recording result of election......................................................................................... 13

23.......... Destruction of election materials.................................................................................. 13

Schedule 1—Method of deciding the election of a candidate                  14

1............ Absolute majority of votes.......................................................................................... 14

2............ Exhausted ballot‑papers............................................................................................... 14

3............ Votes to be counted..................................................................................................... 14

4............ Candidate with absolute majority of first preference votes elected............................... 14

5............ Distribution of preferences.......................................................................................... 14

6............ Deciding which candidate is excluded......................................................................... 15

7............ Deciding which unexcluded candidate is elected......................................................... 15

 


Part 1Preliminary

  

1  Name

                   This instrument is the Torres Strait Regional Authority (Election of Officeholders) Regulations 2019.

2  Commencement

             (1)  Each provision of this instrument specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.

 

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provisions

Commencement

Date/Details

1.  The whole of this instrument

The day after this instrument is registered.

1 April 2019

Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this instrument as originally made. It will not be amended to deal with any later amendments of this instrument.

             (2)  Any information in column 3 of the table is not part of this instrument. Information may be inserted in this column, or information in it may be edited, in any published version of this instrument.

3  Authority

                   This instrument is made under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2005.

4  Definitions

                   In this instrument:

Act means the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2005.

alternate Deputy Chairperson means the person, if any, elected under subsection 144D(1) of the Act to be the alternate of the Deputy Chairperson.

approved:

                     (a)  in relation to an election for the Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson—means approved by the Electoral Commissioner; and

                     (b)  in relation to an election for the alternate Deputy Chairperson—means approved by the TSRA Chief Executive Officer.

candidate means a candidate in an election to which this instrument applies.

Chairperson means the person elected under paragraph 143L(1)(a) of the Act to be the Chairperson of the TSRA.

Deputy Chairperson means the person elected under paragraph 143L(1)(b) of the Act to be the Deputy Chairperson of the TSRA.

public draw of lots means a drawing of the names of candidates in a lot in the presence of members of the TSRA.

relevant office means the office of Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson or alternate Deputy Chairperson.

returning officer:

                     (a)  in relation to an election for the Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson—means a member of the staff of the Australian Electoral Commission who is nominated by the Electoral Commissioner for the purposes of the election; and

                     (b)  in relation to an election for the alternate Deputy Chairperson, means:

                              (i)  the TSRA Chief Executive Officer; or

                             (ii)  a person nominated, in writing, by the TSRA Chief Executive Officer.

voter means a person who is eligible to vote in an election to which this instrument applies.

5  TSRA Chief Executive Officer

             (1)  The TSRA Chief Executive Officer must attend the first meeting of the TSRA after it is elected.

             (2)  If the TSRA Chief Executive Officer is unable to attend the meeting, the TSRA Chief Executive Officer must nominate a member of the staff of the TSRA to attend the meeting in the TSRA Chief Executive Officer’s place.

Part 2Election of officeholders at the first meeting of the TSRA after its election

Division 1Nominations

6  Calling for nominations

             (1)  The TSRA must give the Australian Electoral Commission the following information within 7 days after the declaration of the result of an election under rule 113 of the TSRA election rules:

                     (a)  the name of each member of the TSRA;

                     (b)  the postal address of each member of the TSRA last known to the TSRA.

             (2)  At least 7 days before the first meeting of the TSRA after it is elected, a returning officer must send to each member of the TSRA:

                     (a)  a list of the names of the members of the TSRA; and

                     (b)  an approved form for the nomination of a candidate for each relevant office.

7  Making nominations

             (1)  A nomination for the office of alternate Deputy Chairperson is valid only if the TSRA decides to elect an alternate Deputy Chairperson not later than 15 minutes after the beginning of the first meeting of the TSRA after it is elected.

             (2)  A nomination must:

                     (a)  be in the approved form for the nomination of a candidate for a relevant office; and

                     (b)  set out the name, place of residence and occupation of the candidate; and

                     (c)  specify the office, or offices, for which the candidate is nominated; and

                     (d)  be signed by another member of the TSRA; and

                     (e)  indicate the form in which the candidate’s name is to be presented on the ballot‑paper; and

                      (f)  include a declaration by the candidate that the candidate:

                              (i)  is a member of the TSRA; and

                             (ii)  consents to act if elected.

             (3)  A nomination must be given to the returning officer not later than 30 minutes after the beginning of that meeting.

             (4)  However, if the returning officer announces at the meeting that:

                     (a)  there is no candidate for a relevant office; or

                     (b)  if, after the election of the Chairperson, there is no candidate remaining for the office of Deputy Chairperson; or

                     (c)  if:

                              (i)  the TSRA has decided, under subsection (1), to elect an alternate Deputy Chairperson; and

                             (ii)  after the election of the Deputy Chairperson, there is no candidate remaining for the office of alternate Deputy Chairperson;

a nomination for the relevant office may be given to the returning officer not later than 15 minutes after the announcement.

             (5)  A nomination that is not made in accordance with this section is invalid.

             (6)  Not later than the time mentioned in subsection (3) or (4), a candidate may withdraw, as a candidate, from the election by giving to the returning officer a written notice to that effect that is signed by the candidate.

8  Declaration of nominations

             (1)  As soon as practicable after the time mentioned in subsection 7(3) or (4), the returning officer must:

                     (a)  produce for inspection by the members of the TSRA present at the meeting all nominations received by the returning officer; and

                     (b)  declare the names of the candidates.

             (2)  If only one candidate is nominated for the office of Chairperson, the returning officer must declare that candidate to be elected.

             (3)  If only one candidate is nominated for the office of Deputy Chairperson and that candidate is not also a candidate for the office of Chairperson, the returning officer must declare the candidate to be elected as Deputy Chairperson.

             (4)  If:

                     (a)  the TSRA has decided, under subsection 7(1), to elect an alternate Deputy Chairperson; and

                     (b)  only one candidate is nominated for the office of alternate Deputy Chairperson; and

                     (c)  that candidate is not also a candidate for the office of Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson;

the returning officer must declare the candidate to be elected as alternate Deputy Chairperson.

             (5)  If, after the election of the Chairperson has been declared, there is only one remaining candidate for the office of Deputy Chairperson, the returning officer must declare the candidate to be elected as Deputy Chairperson.

             (6)  If:

                     (a)  the TSRA has decided, under subsection 7(1), to elect an alternate Deputy Chairperson; and

                     (b)  after the election of the Deputy Chairperson has been declared, there is only one remaining candidate for the office of alternate Deputy Chairperson;

the returning officer must declare the candidate to be elected as alternate Deputy Chairperson.

             (7)  If there is more than one remaining candidate nominated for a relevant office, the returning officer must conduct a poll of the members of the TSRA to decide the election.

Division 2Polling

9  Order of polls

             (1)  The name of the successful candidate in the election for the Chairperson must be announced before the election for the Deputy Chairperson is held.

             (2)  The name of the successful candidate in the election for the Deputy Chairperson must be announced before an election for the alternate Deputy Chairperson is held.

10  Deciding the order of candidates on ballot‑papers

                   The returning officer must conduct a public draw of lots to decide the order in which the names of candidates will appear on the ballot‑paper for an election.

11  Ballot‑papers

                   A ballot‑paper must:

                     (a)  be in the approved form; and

                     (b)  set out the names of the candidates in the order decided under section 10; and

                     (c)  set out voting instructions that are consistent with section 13.

12  Polling procedure

             (1)  Before an election, the returning officer must show to the members of the TSRA present at the meeting the empty ballot‑box and then securely fasten the cover of the ballot‑box.

             (2)  The returning officer must give to each member at the meeting a ballot‑paper for the election that is initialled by the returning officer.

             (3)  Immediately after giving a member the member’s ballot‑paper, the returning officer must mark off that member’s name on a list of members of the TSRA.

13  Voting

             (1)  A voter is entitled to one vote in an election.

             (2)  A voter must mark the voter’s preference, or preferences, on the ballot‑paper for the election:

                     (a)  if the voter wishes to vote for one candidate—by placing the number 1 opposite the name of the candidate for whom the voter wishes to vote; or

                     (b)  if the voter wishes to vote for more than one candidate—by placing opposite the name of each of the candidates voted for, in the order of the voter’s preferences, a number in a series of consecutive numbers beginning with 1.

             (3)  After marking the voter’s preference, or preferences, on a ballot‑paper, a voter must, not later than 10 minutes after the voter has received the ballot‑paper from the returning officer:

                     (a)  fold the ballot‑paper so as to conceal the vote; and

                     (b)  place the ballot‑paper in the ballot‑box.

             (4)  If, before placing their ballot‑paper in the ballot‑box, a voter:

                     (a)  claims, in the presence of the returning officer, that the voter has spoiled the ballot‑paper; and

                     (b)  returns the ballot‑paper to that returning officer; and

                     (c)  requests a further ballot‑paper;

the returning officer must follow the procedure mentioned in subsection (5).

             (5)  The returning officer must:

                     (a)  give the voter a fresh ballot‑paper; and

                     (b)  endorse the returned ballot‑paper by writing spoilt across it and sign and date the endorsement.

             (6)  A ballot‑paper that is not placed in the ballot‑box before the end of the period mentioned in subsection (3) must be disregarded.

Division 3Counting votes

14  Scrutineers

             (1)  Each candidate in an election may appoint one scrutineer to represent the candidate at the count of votes in the election.

             (2)  An appointment must be:

                     (a)  in writing; and

                     (b)  in the approved form; and

                     (c)  given to the returning officer before the count begins.

15  Conduct of the count

             (1)  This section applies when all voters have cast their votes.

             (2)  In the presence of the voters and scrutineers, the returning officer must:

                     (a)  open the ballot‑box; and

                     (b)  take out the ballot‑papers; and

                     (c)  deal with the ballot‑papers in accordance with Schedule 1.

16  Informal ballot‑papers

             (1)  A ballot‑paper is informal if:

                     (a)  it is not initialled by the returning officer; or

                     (b)  it has no vote marked on it; or

                     (c)  it does not indicate the voter’s first preference for 1, and only 1, candidate; or

                     (d)  it has any mark or writing on it by which the voter can be identified.

             (2)  The returning officer must reject a ballot‑paper that is informal.

17  Completion of the count

             (1)  After the counting of votes in accordance with this Division has been completed, the returning officer must:

                     (a)  make, sign and date a statement that sets out:

                              (i)  the number of votes given to each candidate in the election; and

                             (ii)  the number of informal ballot‑papers; and

                     (b)  place in separate parcels:

                              (i)  ballot‑papers rejected as informal; and

                             (ii)  ballot‑papers accepted as formal; and

                            (iii)  ballot‑papers endorsed under subsection 13(5); and

                     (c)  endorse each parcel to indicate clearly its contents and the election to which it relates, and sign and date the endorsement; and

                     (d)  keep the parcels in a secure place.

             (2)  A scrutineer may countersign a statement under paragraph (1)(a) or an endorsement under paragraph (1)(c).

Division 4Other matters

18  Declaration

                   As soon as practicable after the count has been completed, the returning officer must declare to the TSRA the name of the candidate who is elected.

19  Request for recount

             (1)  The returning officer must conduct a recount of the ballot‑papers received in an election if a candidate asks the returning officer to do so at any time before a declaration is made under section 18.

             (2)  A request for a recount may be made orally or in writing.

             (3)  A returning officer is not required to conduct more than one recount.

             (4)  In conducting a recount in relation to an election, the returning officer:

                     (a)  has the same powers in relation to the recount as the election officer had in relation to the counting of votes in the election; and

                     (b)  may make any decision about the allowance and admission, or disallowance and rejection, of a ballot‑paper that the election officer could have made in relation to the count.

Part 3Other elections

  

20  Election of new Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson

             (1)  The election of a new Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson under subsection 143L(4) of the Act must be conducted in accordance with Part 2 as if the election were conducted for the purposes of paragraph 143L(1)(a) or (b) of the Act.

             (2)  However, if the Deputy Chairperson is elected to fill a vacancy in the office of Chairperson, Part 2 has effect for the election of a new Deputy Chairperson as follows:

                     (a)  as if section 6 were omitted and the following section substituted:

“6  Calling for nominations—Deputy Chairperson vacancy

                   As soon as practicable after the office of Deputy Chairperson becomes vacant, the returning officer must call for nominations to fill that vacant office.”

 

                     (b)  as if subsection 7(3) were omitted and the following subsection substituted:

           “(3)  A nomination must be given to the returning officer not later than 15 minutes after nominations have been called for.”

21  Election of new alternate Deputy Chairperson

             (1)  At any meeting of the TSRA that follows the first meeting of the TSRA after its election, if the office of alternate Deputy Chairperson is vacant, the TSRA may decide to elect an alternate Deputy Chairperson.

             (2)  If the TSRA decides to elect an alternate Deputy Chairperson, the election must be conducted in accordance with Part 2 as if the meeting at which the election is conducted were the first meeting of the TSRA after its election.

             (3)  However, if:

                     (a)  an alternate Deputy Chairperson is elected to fill a vacancy in the office of Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson; and

                     (b)  the TSRA decides to elect a new alternate Deputy Chairperson;

Part 2 has effect for that election as follows:

                     (c)  as if section 6 were omitted and the following section substituted:

“6  Calling for nominations—alternate Deputy Chairperson vacancy

                   As soon as practicable after the TSRA has decided to elect a new alternate Deputy Chairperson under subsection 21(3), the returning officer must call for nominations to fill that vacant office.”

 

                     (d)  as if subsection 7(3) were omitted and the following subsection substituted:

           “(3)  A nomination must be given to the returning officer not later than 15 minutes after nominations have been called for.”

Part 4Miscellaneous

  

22  Recording result of election

                   The results of an election and the statement prepared by the returning officer under paragraph 17(1)(a) for the election must be recorded in the minutes of the meeting of the TSRA at which the election is held.

23  Destruction of election materials

                   As soon as practicable after the end of 3 months after an election, the returning officer must destroy any nomination, ballot‑paper, or appointment of a scrutineer, for the election that is in the returning officer’s possession.


Schedule 1Method of deciding the election of a candidate

Note:       See paragraph 15(2)(c).

  

  

1  Absolute majority of votes

                   For the purposes of a count, a candidate is taken to have an absolute majority of votes if:

                     (a)  the number of first preference votes received by the candidate is more than half of the total number of first preference votes received by all candidates in the count; or

                     (b)  after an exclusion, the number of votes received by that candidate is more than half of the total number of votes received by all unexcluded candidates.

2  Exhausted ballot‑papers

                   For the purposes of a count, a ballot‑paper must be set aside as exhausted if, at any stage during the count, the ballot‑paper expresses no preference for an unexcluded candidate.

3  Votes to be counted

                   The returning officer must count the first preference votes received by each candidate on ballot‑papers that are not rejected as informal.

4  Candidate with absolute majority of first preference votes elected

                   If a candidate has an absolute majority of first preference votes, the candidate is elected.

5  Distribution of preferences

             (1)  If no candidate has an absolute majority of first preference votes, the candidate who has received the fewest first preference votes must be excluded, and each of that candidate’s ballot‑papers must be transferred to the unexcluded candidate for whom the next available preference is expressed.

             (2)  If there is then no candidate who has an absolute majority of votes, the process of excluding the candidate who has received the fewest votes, and transferring that candidate’s ballot‑papers to the unexcluded candidates for whom the next available preferences are expressed, must be repeated as often as necessary until one candidate receives an absolute majority of votes.

             (3)  A candidate who receives an absolute majority of votes at any stage described in this clause is elected.

6  Deciding which candidate is excluded

             (1)  This clause applies if:

                     (a)  2 or more unexcluded candidates receive the same number of votes; and

                     (b)  one of those candidates must be identified for exclusion under clause 5.

             (2)  The returning officer must conduct an intermediate poll that involves only those unexcluded candidates to decide which of the candidates is to be excluded.

             (3)  The intermediate poll must be conducted in accordance with Divisions 2, 3 and 4 of Part 2 of this instrument.

             (4)  If, in the intermediate poll, a candidate receives fewer votes than any other candidate, the first‑mentioned candidate is excluded.

             (5)  If, in the intermediate poll:

                     (a)  2 or more candidates receive the same number of votes; and

                     (b)  either:

                              (i)  there are no other candidates; or

                             (ii)  each of those candidates has received fewer votes than any other candidate;

the returning officer must conduct a public draw of lots to decide which of those candidates is excluded.

7  Deciding which unexcluded candidate is elected

             (1)  This clause applies if:

                     (a)  2 or more unexcluded candidates receive the same number of votes; and

                     (b)  there are no other unexcluded candidates.

             (2)  The returning officer must conduct an intermediate poll that involves only those unexcluded candidates to decide which of the candidates is elected.

             (3)  The intermediate poll must be conducted in accordance with Divisions 2, 3 and 4 of Part 2 of this instrument.

             (4)  The candidate who receives the most votes in the intermediate poll is elected.

             (5)  If, in the intermediate poll, each of the candidates receives the same number of votes, the returning officer must conduct a public draw of lots to decide which of the candidates is elected.