The SMSF & Self-Funded Retirees Party won’t be registered in time for the 2019 federal election, but is hopeful for the subsequent election.
President of the Party, Grant Abbott, announced that “the SMSF Party Lives On – but not this election”.
The SMSF Party was in the process of being registered with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). But with the issue of the writs for the 2019 federal election the AEC is required to cease processing party registration applications.
“Processing of applications will recommence on the return of the writs. The date set for return of writs is 28 June 2019,” says the AEC.
The timeframe to register the SMSF Party was always going to be tight. The AEC says new parties can expect the registration process to take at least 12 weeks. It is unclear on what date the SMSF Party lodged its application, but it was only announced on 29 January 2019.
At that date the Party was seeking at least 500 members. One of the requirements to register a political party with the AEC is to have 500 members (unless a member is already sitting in Parliament).
One of the tests the AEC conducts on new parties is “whether the list of members contains people not listed on the Electoral Roll, duplicate persons, the names of persons who are ineligible for enrolment, or the names of persons who have been used to support other applications for registration”.
It is not compulsory to register a federal political party, but it does come with a number of benefits – including the printing of party name or logos on ballot papers.
Grant Abbott said: “Our Party Secretary, Ashleigh Jaremyn has done absolute wonders in getting the SMSF Party to where it is today.”
“With more than 5,000 members, we sent a sample of 526 to the Australian Electoral Commission to ensure that the requirement of 500 members being on the voting roll was safe and secure. However at the 11th hour they came back and informed us that 27 of our members were not on the electoral roll and we had to resubmit, which we did immediately but the AEC did not get to them in time before the Prime Minister called the election. Time can be a friend and an enemy.”
“For all those that supported us I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I know deep down submissions go nowhere unless there is big money backers behind them, and that the only way to make change is in the hall of Parliament. So it is time to build, attack any measures and become united. By the time of the next election another 1.3 million Baby Boomers will have retired, so our membership will continue to swell and grow and become a lot more active.”
The executive of the SMSF Party has been contacted with questions and a request for further comment.