MEDIA RELEASE: 30th May 2013: AEC Decision Resolves National Executive Dispute


MEDIA RELEASE: 30th May 2013

AEC Decision Resolves National Executive Dispute

The Australian Electoral Commission today resolved a 10-month dispute within the national governing body of the Australian Democrats, determining those currently entitled to occupy key electoral positions.

The AEC decision reaffirms the membership rights and executive positions of two key office holders who were claimed by rivals to have either resigned from the Party or to have been expelled.

The AEC found that the rival group did not have the rights or powers to declare that National President Darren Churchill or Acting National Secretary Roger Howe had either resigned or been expelled.

Since last year, the dispute has led to the situation of two groups each claiming to be National Executive, producing rival National Journals. The decision effectively means that the faction which tried to take control of the Party has no legal standing as a “National Executive”.

The AEC inquiry examined the constitution and standing orders of the party and its National Executive and took submissions from contestants. It determined in favour of those who were already and had for some time, been registered with them.

Former Federal Parliamentary Leader, Lyn Allison, said that, with the umpire having ruled, the dispute is now over.

“This is an important and very clear decision by the AEC,” Ms Allison said.

“With less than four months until the Federal election, the party can now be rejuvenated and move forward with confidence in nominating candidates and organising its election campaign without the distraction of internal wrangling and legal challenges.”

“I encourage all members to put aside past differences and unite. This dispute was not about policy or direction so our vision for Australia is intact.

“We have a great party history to live up to and a good deal of work to do in giving Australians the chance to again be represented in the Federal Parliament by the Australian Democrats”.

Further information:

Bruce Hogben 0419 199 666

Australian Democrats (SA Division) Inc. Vice-President (Administration)


Lyn Allison 0407 691 512

Australian Democrats Senator for Victoria 1996-2008 and former Parliamentary Leader


AEC decision:

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