Political parties and elections

Last updated: 25 June 2019

A registered political party is exempt from the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act), as is a political representative when carrying out an exempt political activity.

A political representative is a member of parliament or councillor of a local government authority.

An exempt political activity is an act or practice carried out for:

  • an election under an electoral law
  • a referendum under a federal, state or territory law
  • another aspect of the political process that the political representative takes part in

A contractor or volunteer is also exempt from the Privacy Act when carrying out an exempt political activity for a political representative or registered political party.

However, an Australian Government minister has responsibilities under the Privacy Act for any personal information they handle in their role as minister.

Communications

A non-commercial phone call, email or text message does not need to follow the Do Not Call Register Act 2006 or the Spam Act 2003.

A phone call, email or text message from a registered political party is also exempt from most spam and telemarketing rules.

Use of the electoral roll for postal voting and political advertising

The Australian Electoral Commission can supply the electoral roll to a political representative or a registered political party under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

A political representative or registered political party may then use the information on the electoral roll (the name, address, date of birth and gender of each enrolled voter) and any other personal information they may have collected to send you a postal voting application and/or political messaging.

For more information about the use of the electoral roll and postal voting, visit the Australian Electoral Commission

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