The Australian Sex party will appeal against a decision by Australian Electoral Commission to deregister the party because it does not have enough members. The decision comes just months after the Victorian branch of the party won its first seat in the state’s upper house in November. The co-founder, Robbie Swan, said in a statement that the party would “vigorously” appeal against the decision which means the party will not be able to put its name on ballot papers at federal elections or receive commonwealth funding available to registered parties.
Swan says the electoral system is weighted against small parties, because they had to submit a list of 550 members for the commission to check. “In the end, the AEC based their decision on responses they got to just 26 phone calls and four members,” he said.
Major parties on the other hand were able spend thousands of dollars paying staff to check their membership contact details were up to date.
“But for smaller parties who do not have paid staff and no budget to track down members, they have to just randomly select 550 names and send them off,” said Swan.