Mature Australia Party Constitution

1. Name and Standing

1.1  The name of the Party is ‘Mature Australia Party’

1.2  For internal Party purposes, the acronym MAP will be applied in respect of its corporate entity, MAP Ltd, and in other situations where this is deemed appropriate. The Party’s abbreviated name for electoral purposes, including the registration of the Party with the Australian Electoral Commission, will be Mature Australia, or another to be decided at the appropriate time.

1.3  This Constitution identifies the principals governing the conduct of the Party’s affairs and the bodies responsible for implementing them. All State Divisions and Federal Divisions of the Party are parts of the same political party and one is part of the other, under this Constitution.

1.4  All other Party documents are subordinate to this Constitution.

1.5  The Constitutions of the Mature Australia Party, and its assigned corporate entity MAP Ltd (yet to be incorporated) can be amended only with the agreement of the National Executive management structures of both entities and by a Notice of Motion at an AGM or special meeting called for that purpose, supported by a majority vote of 60% of the Party’s financial members in attendance at the meeting, or present either in person, or represented by a legitimate proxy or electronic vote.

1.6  Such requests for amendment may be initiated by any financial member on application:

  1. To the member’s local Branch of the Party, or
  2. Through a State Executive( if relevant ) to the National Executive, or
  3. To the National Executive direct, or
  4. By the National Executive Committee itself.
  5. Note. The Notice of Motion must be signed by the initiating financial Member and Seconded by a second financial Member with their names clearly printed beneath their signatures and must be addressed to the National Secretary and forwarded to that officer at the first practicable opportunity( even if via the local or State office).

1.7  The Party will have the right to act in association with like-minded community groups as associates or as ‘Associated Entities’ as defined under State or Commonwealth Electoral Acts, for the purpose of advancing agreed matters of policy or advocacy. At all times the Party will retain its independent identity, as will the organisations (or groups) involved with the Party in such efforts, and on such pursuits.

2. Definitions

In this Constitution, unless some other meaning is clearly stated:

2.1  ‘AGM’ means Annual General Meeting.
2.2  AEC means The Commonwealth Electoral Commission or the Electoral Commission of any State.
2.3  ‘Elected Public Office’ means an elected position at all levels of Australian government.
2.4  ‘Branch’ means the organisation of a group of members of the Party within a State, or Territory of Australia.
2.5  ‘Simple Majority’ means more than half of the financial members attending.
2.6  ‘Member’ means a person who is accepted by the Party and complies with the Party requirements and is a current financial member of the Party.
2.7  ‘Party’ means the National, State/Division or Local Branch of the Party, representing all of the membership.
2.8  ‘Party Ballot’ means a ballot open to all financial members of the Party who are qualified under the Constitution.
2.9  ‘Policy’ means a statement of intent, endorsed and approved by the National Executive of the Party, presented to the public advising of the stance adopted by the Party on a particular issue.
2.10  ‘Political Party’ in this document means the Membership (including office bearers) and all publicly-elected MPs endorsed by The Mature Australia Party.
2.11  ‘Pre-Selection ‘means forwarding of a nomination for endorsement by the Party of a person to stand as a candidate (of the Party) for election to public office.
2.12  ‘Quorum’ means for a meeting of:

  1. The National Executive = 50% of the Executive, being not less than three (3) members of the Executive.
  2. A State/Territory Executive = 50% of the Executive, in attendance at the meeting.
  3. A Local Branch Executive = 50% of the Executive, in attendance, being not less than 5 (five) members of that executive.
  4. A.G.M. & General meetings of the Party’s membership = 50% of the members attending and including no fewer than 3 (three) Executive members, to include the President and/or Secretary of a Branch or Divisional Executive.

2.13  ‘State’ means a state of The Commonwealth of Australia.
2.14  ‘Territory’ means a territory of The Commonwealth of Australia.

3. Party Objectives

Statement of principles

3.1  The Mature Australia Party recognises Australia’s international treaty obligations including, but not limited to, the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. The Party also declares and reaffirms its policy that where any conflict of purpose arises between Australian law and international obligations, and insofar as this affects (or may affect) Australian citizens and the laws of Australia, such UN declarations (and other such treaties) are (and must remain) subservient to decisions of the Australian Commonwealth Government and its laws, derived under the authority of power extended to it by the people of Australia, and its Constitution. It further respects that Australian law may be amended, as deemed necessary by Australian Parliaments to become Australian law, to embody or incorporate elements or principles of international law, with the aim of better protecting the interests of Australian citizens either in Australia or abroad.

3.2  The Party has a focus and interest in protecting the welfare rights and entitlements of all Australians, but with a particular focus on people over 50 years of age.

The Party is committed to promoting and safeguarding the economic, social, political and fundamental rights of all citizens, including foreign nationals approved by Australian authorities for Australian residency. This will include monitoring and where necessary introducing (or seeking to amend) legislation to ensure that all Australians are not disadvantaged, exploited, marginalised or discriminated against in matters related to their age, finances, safety, wellbeing, health, and religion, including those living in welfare housing, residential and retirement villages, care facilities and residential accommodation.  The Party seeks to ensure all Australians are able to live in peace, dignity and enjoy a culturally free society.

3.3  The Party will provide the necessary support structure for the democratic selection, endorsement and support of candidates to contest elections, to gain representation to the Australian Federal and State Parliaments.

3.4  The Party supports the rights of all members of the Party to have input within the Party structure into Party policy formation, at all levels.

3.5  The preservation and enhancement of sustainable living conditions, income and benefits for all Australians, including self-funded or public pension-funded retirees, in all circumstances.

3.6  A commitment to national growth based on employment and revenue-generating infrastructure development, incentives for greater public and private investment in wealth and job-creating projects, thereby attracting more income and benefits for the community and governments. The Party looks to more practical and sustainable water conservation and usage measures and programs for public and private enterprises (including usages for industrial, commercial, rural and urban purposes and benefit).

3.7  Ensuring a level of adequate funding for cultural activities that reflect the value and importance of such activities to Australia’s multi-racial, multi-cultural society.

3.8  Promoting an ecologically sustainable society for future generations, by promoting policies that seek to cultivate greater society appreciation for the sustainability of all of our natural resources and the environment.

3.9  Commitment to a sustainable national immigration program that gives due regard to the position of genuine refugees (and their siblings) and desirable family reunions but is based, primarily, more on aiding and promoting  the country’s economy, production , productivity , employment  and  status as a harmonious  multi-cultural and multi-racial society  , and less on welfare-dependent immigration.

3.10  To support and revitalise Australia’s manufacturing industry sector, with a strong focus on new developments and initiatives, and new employment-creating industries and opportunities, as well as initiatives for research and development.

3.11  To give due and fulsome support to the nation’s agricultural industries, farmers, and farming communities.

3.12  To raise issues that affect services in all aspects of rural and urban life including (but not limited to) pensions, health care, transport, housing affordability and better infrastructure planning and development

3.13  Policies to recognise and adequately remunerate and/or compensate members of the armed and emergency services, to protect and preserve their welfare and entitlements, both during their periods of active service and in retirement.

3.14  To achieve greater recognition of and support for the disabled and disadvantaged, and their Carers.

3.15  A greater national commitment to jobs growth in small business.

3.16  To work towards  limiting  the loss (by sale or leasing) of public assets ,and land resources  and production, without extensive public consultation,  and to ensure that the majority control of public assets remain at all times in Australian hands ,by limiting foreign control of any such enterprises to a maximum of 49 percent .

3.17  To provide improved public transport services to all communities.

3.18  Seeking that all political donations, to all parties and political interests, are listed on a public register.

3.19  To review and revise Australia’s  highly inequitable and discriminatory  taxation system, and to promote a fairer and more equitable taxation system which  ensures that all  who earn income and profits in Australia pay taxes in Australia  , including all individuals, service providers, businesses, companies ,and corporations ,no matter where  they are based  within Australia or overseas.

4. Membership

Roles and responsibilities

4.1  Any person from the age of 18 years upwards may qualify to become a member of the Mature Australia Party, provided that they are duly enrolled to vote under the Commonwealth Electoral Act (or a State equivalent).

4.2  Applicant Members will have no voting rights until their membership has been endorsed by the National Executive.

4.3  No person who is a member of another political party (financial or otherwise) shall be accepted as a member of the Party (MAP).

4.4  A member may resign from the party at any time by notice in writing to the duly appointed Membership Officer/Secretary at local Branch, State or National level.

4.5  The annual Party membership subscription will be set and reviewed, as appropriate, by the Party’s National Executive Committee, but will be retained as low as possible to allow as many people as possible to participate in its functioning and activities.

4.6  The Secretary or Treasurer (or another duly appointed Membership Officer) will issue subscription fee notices (for renewal) prior to the expiry of the previous year’s subscription (on the anniversary of their Membership approval). Where a member does not renew his/her membership within 60 calendar days on such advice, the member’s membership will lapse.

4.7  Membership of M.A.P may be refused, applications rejected, or membership suspended pending dismissal in the following circumstances:

  1. A person who is (as per Item 3 ) a member of another political party
  2. A Member has acted in a manner to bring the Party into disrepute, or has flouted the rules of the Party, or use the Party to attempt or commit an unlawful act, or has acted to benefit another party to the detriment of M.A.P.
  3. An applicant (or member) is proven to have a criminal conviction and/or a disqualifying electoral offence under national and/or State Electoral Acts, in any jurisdiction.

4.8  An applicant not admitted to membership or a member expelled or suspended on the above grounds will have a right of appeal to the Party’s National Executive, for a period of 14 days after issue of the notice of expulsion or suspension.

The applicant or member will be obliged to present supporting evidence or documentation to support the appeal.

Such application for appeal shall show cause why the decision arrived at should not be given effect.

The applicant or member may have another financial member (not a legal representative) assist in presenting the appeal.
The findings of the appeal will stand.

4.9  All online registration forms and mailed forms received will be deemed to be applications for membership of the Mature Australia Party. For each application received, at the first Executive Committee meeting held after the receipt of an application, the Executive Committee will make a decision to reject or accept that application where practicable.

4.10  No person, business or enterprise will be provided with access to the membership records of the Party without the authority of the National Executive, directed via to the Party’s National President, acting as the Party’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

4.11  The Party may offer perpetual membership in special cases involving members whose contributions to the Party’s efforts have warranted such consideration. In these cases members so honoured would not be obliged to pay continuing annual subscription fees.

Nominations for perpetual membership will be presented to the Branch / State / National Executive committees (whichever is applicable) and supported by the respective Executive committees for submission to and approval by the Membership at the National A.G.M.

4.12  Every member shall be bound except as otherwise specified by or determined under the Constitution or regulations:

  1. To uphold and comply with the Party’s Constitution and any regulations issued in line with or outside of the Constitution which may be made by the national executive committee or the relevant sectional or divisional body.
  2. To uphold and comply with decisions of the Party, duly made under the authority of the Party’s Constitution.

4.13  A decision of any executive committee of the Party on any matter may be communicated by electronic means as approved by the National Executive Committee of the Party.

4.14  A member, who holds an elected office within M.A.P, or who is endorsed by the Party for election to public office, shall conduct the affairs of that position with due diligence and in the best interests of M.A.P.

4.15  Membership within M.A.P shall be classified as one of the following;

  1. Applicant: Meaning a person seeking Membership.
  2. Member: Meaning an accepted applicant who has paid the relevant membership   subscription fees in full.
  3. Special Member: Meaning a membership with privileges which may include no requirement for the payment of annual subscription fees.
  4. Conferred Perpetual Membership: means a Membership conferred upon a person in return for efforts the individual has made on behalf of M.A.P, with no annual fees required to be paid.

5. Structure, National, State and Local

Organisations and Office Bearers

The organisational structure within the Mature Australia Party shall be:

5.1  The AGM (annual general meeting) of members of the Party, which will be the supreme policy-making, organisational, and management authority, to which all levels of the Party’s functions and management will be subservient.
5.2  The Party’s National Executive Committee, as elected and endorsed at an AGM.
5.3  State or Territory (or Divisional) Executive Committees elected by properly-constituted meetings of financial members of the party in the respective States and/or Territories.
5.4  Local Branches of the Party (properly constituted as above).

5.5  A Party corporate entity, MAP Ltd (to be incorporated), of which all financial Members of the Party will be shareholders.  MAP Ltd will have two standing positions on the Party’s National Executive Committee. The Party shall assign to this limited entity specific authority and responsibility for all commercial and/or corporate activities involving designated financial affairs of the party, including but not limited to election and membership fund-raising, subject to

  1. accountability provisions of the Electoral Act, the Corporations Act and/or other relevant statutes, and
  2. subject to Party membership endorsement (at Members’ AGM or between AGMs or special general meetings by the Party’s National Executive Committee) of any arrangements or activities so entered into.
  3. MAP LTD on its formation and incorporation will be responsible, specifically, for seeking, receiving, securing, and accounting for all gifts or donations to the Party in excess of the statutory limits (Federal and State) currently set for tax-free private or commercial donations under Federal and /or State Electoral Acts and corresponding provisions of the Tax Act.  Functionally and administratively, the Party and its corporate entity (MAP Ltd) will operate in accordance with their own procedures, processes and rules as set out in separate but parallel /complementary Constitutions, each defining their specific roles and functions.

The ‘Board of Directors’ for the limited entity (MAP Ltd) will comprise, initially:
a. The Party National President (CEO)
b. The Party National Secretary (CFO), and
c. Another Party officer appointed as the Secretary of the limited entity.

In addition to the Party National President, the  National Secretary and the  nominated Secretary, the Board of Directors will appoint 2  other members from the National Executive Committee (with delegated power to co-opt as necessary), to collectively  be responsible for the day to day running of the Party (as set out elsewhere in this Constitution).  This will be under the direction of the President/CEO, who will report directly to the National Executive and the membership at the party’s AGM.

5.6  As deemed necessary by the Party’s National Executive Committee in consultation with the
Directors of MAP Ltd, the Party may appoint a State/ Territory Administrator for the Party
to direct and assist active State/Divisional Executive Committees in any State (and /or
Territory), or to form or restructure such bodies in any State/Territory, for the promotion
and development of membership and income in the respective States and/or Territories.

5.7  A National Executive Committee which will act as ‘The Management Team’ to oversee and supervise the affairs of the Party, including  the day to day running of the Party, between Annual General Meetings. The principle officers will be:
a.  Patron……………………………………………………………………………. Selected

b.  President/ Chairman/Registered Officer. ……………………………… Elected

c.  Vice Presidents x 2……………………………………………………………. Elected

d. Secretary/ Party Registrations …………………………………………….. Elected

e. Two representatives of MAP Ltd…………………………………………. Nominated

f.  Treasurer/ Membership Admin /Party Agent…………………………. Elected

g.  Legal Liaison Officer…………………………………………………………… Appointed

h.  Policy & Political Director……………………………………………………. Elected/appointed

i.  Development & Promotions  Co-ordinator…………………………….. Appointed

j.  State Delegates (as eligible )……………………………………………….. Elected, State/Territory

k.  Finance/Fund-raising Director……………………………………………… Appointed

l.  A Campaign Director………………………………………………………….. Appointed. (*)

(*) The elected or appointed Campaign Director will be either elected (from within the Party) or appointed (from outside the Party) for the duration of election campaigns, and if not already a member of the Executive will be co-opted for the duration of the campaign as a voting or non-voting member of the Executive (at the discretion of the Executive).

m.  Other Co-opted persons, where required, with specifically defined professional expertise, authority and functions, e.g. IT Officer, Legal Officer, Membership Co-ordinator, Development/Promotions Officer, etc. All the positions shall be appointed, by the National Executive, acting with the authority of the Members’ A.G.M.

The National Executive will convene the Party’s National Annual General Meeting which will be called by and chaired by the President, as the Party’s chief executive officer, in consultation with the Executive.

Meetings of the Executive should be held monthly, or in the event of extenuating circumstances, no fewer than 4 times per annum.  The Executive will be responsible for maintenance of all documentation and records and the financial welfare of the Party, as well as all reporting and audit responsibilities conferred by law, and keeping the Membership informed.

The National Executive Committee may seek and/or take professional advice as required to apply the best standards to the operations of the Party.

5.8

(1) State or State Division(s) of the Party shall be headed by an Executive Committee for overseeing and supervising functions of State elements of the Party. The structure of the State Executives shall mimic (as required) the National body in Executive positions and responsibilities.

(2) Authority shall be conferred by this Constitution, through the National Executive, for functioning State/Division Executives to oversee, direct and supervise Local/regional Branches of the Party in specific States or Territories.

(3) The powers of the State or Division Executive shall, subject to the endorsement of the National Executive, extend to but not exceed the authority of the National Executive in matters of:
a.  Membership promotions and marketing

b.  The receipt and expenditure of monies raised by the State body for specifically State functions

c.  Reviewing and recommending candidates to the National Executive for endorsement for  election to public office

d.  Day to day administration of State functions at the State level, and for other activities as delegated by the National Executive and/or the National Executive President.

(4 )  Each State(or Territory) Division Executive Committee , on achieving total membership qualifying for Party registration at that level by the relevant State Electoral Commission ,shall nominate ONE representative to sit on the National Executive, when their respective membership levels reach or exceed the nominated State registration quota.

(5)  In States (or Territories) with membership levels below the Electoral Act requirement for formal registration as a Party in that State ( or Territory ) ,the National Executive will have the  authority to co-opt  any member  to fulfil any  role or position on the National Executive based on the  special expertise ,experience or skills of such members ,irrespective of the number of members in those States (or Territories).
(6)  The State/Division Executive shall be responsible for the recording and maintenance of all activities of the Party in its State (or Territory), including the  upkeep, maintenance, reporting and audit of financial records, receipting and expenses as per the National Executive directions process,  and for the preparation of reports and returns required by the AEC. (Refer: Section 11. The financial disclosure obligation under the Act)

5.9

(1)  All financial members of the Mature Australia Party shall have the right to contribute to matters of Policy, development of the Party, and/or improvement to Party functions, election campaigns, and the administration of the Party. Such member involvement shall be constructive and not impede the functions or activities of that National, State/Division or Local body. All financial members are charged with the obligation to conduct themselves in a manner to bring credit to the Party in all things in relation to Party activities and presentation.

(2)  Any financial member may nominate for a position on the Branch, State or National Executive committees. The nomination process requires a document signed by both the nominee and a second financial member and forwarded to the appropriate Secretary in accordance with time provisions contained elsewhere in this constitution.

Election of Office Bearers.
5.10  The Patron will be a prominent person whose position as a non-voting member of the Executive will be confirmed (and/or changed, as required by circumstances) by the National Executive Committee.

The Patron’s role will be that of an official (and public) Ambassador for the Party, who can (if he/she desires) take part in the party’s promotional efforts, nationally. The Executive can extend voting rights to the Patron as deemed appropriate.

5.11

(1 ) The National President, elected by the Party’s Membership at a properly constituted Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting called for that purpose , is responsible for leading the Party and overseeing the sound and proper management and conduct of the Party’s actions at all levels, and the observance (by Executive and non-executive members) of the Party’s Constitution.

The National President is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and a member of the Board of Directors and listed on the limited entity as a director.

(2) The President will be responsible for overseeing the maintenance of the Party’s good name, reputation, and standing and will be the Party’s official spokesman on all national affairs, functions and policies of the Party.  He will act, in practice, on a day to day basis as the party’s Chief Executive Officer.

(3) The President may be removed from office only by the membership of the Party at an AGM or at a special general meeting called specifically for this purpose, on the basis of serious PROVEN / substantiated breaches or action by the President.

Any such action must be based on a formal complaint submitted, in the first instance, to the Party’s National Executive, and supported by a 60% vote (in favour of such action) by that Executive.

The President will also act as the Party’s Registered Officer, as appointed , as required under the Commonwealth and State Electoral Acts, and shall appoint another member as a Deputy Registered Officer as may be required.

5.12  The Vice Presidents (2) will assist the President and may perform duties of the President and/or the Executive, as delegated and/or required.

5.13

(1) The Secretary is responsible for the day-to-day administration of Party communications with members and with State Divisional Executives as necessary, the keeping of formal records at all levels, and all correspondence with the Electoral Commissions within States and Nationally as and where required.

(2) The Secretary shall fulfil the duties of the Nominated Officer in accordance with the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, and specifically on all matters associated with the Party’s efforts to secure registration (under the Act) as a national political party.

(3) The National Secretary will work in co-operation with the Secretaries of the Party’s State Executives, in preparing applications for State registration, which the State Secretaries (in each case) will be responsible for under their State Electoral Acts.

(4) The National Secretary is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and a member of the Board of Directors of MAP Ltd and listed on the limited entity as a director.

5.14  The Treasurer is responsible for the accounts and financial affairs of the Party. The Treasurer will fulfil the duties of Party Agent in accordance with the requirements of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. The Treasurer (in association with the Secretary) shall be responsible for ensuring the financial returns are provided to the AEC as required and shall ensure that the financial records of the Party shall be presented for audit at least annually.

5.15  The Treasurer/ Membership Administration Officer is responsible for the receiving and processing of all membership applications, queries and correspondence, and for directing all such correspondence to the relevant levels of the Party for action, including acknowledgement and confirmation of membership applications and subscriptions.

5.16  The appointed Campaign Director is responsible for co-ordinating and directing all  election campaigning processes, promotional ,communications and media efforts ,and  Party  political strategies, at all levels, before and during election campaign periods.

5.17

(1) An Information Technology (IT) Officer may be appointed or employed, reporting to and operating under the direction of the Communications Officer on the National Executive.

This would be a non-voting role, including (if judged necessary) website design, changes and maintenance, and technical changes or additions (under direction).

(2) Allied professionals (either appointed or elected from within the Party membership or outside of it) may be called on for producing material for such placement – whether on the Party’s website or for any other forum or medium.

(3) A position of ‘website editor’ (under the supervision of the Party’s Policy and Political Director) may also be created to decide the content and placement of all such material, from any source.

5.18  The Policy & Political spokesperson is responsible for directing and overseeing all policy development, and the Party’s media and other public and/or commercial marketing placements, nationally. Policy development will involve participation from all States.

5.19  The Marketing Co-ordinator shall be responsible for promoting the Party across media facilities, and co-ordinating marketing and promotions within the party structure.

5.20  State delegates: One qualified member (in States which qualify, on membership numbers, for State registration) and two in States that have membership numbers of double their State registration quota (or more) will be nominated by their relevant State (or Territory) Executives to serve on the National Executive for and to represent each State (or Territory) in which MAP has functioning branches and/or State Executive committees.

5.21  The Legal Liaison Officer shall be a duly qualified legal professional (ideally  a member of the National Executive) to advise the Party, at all appropriate times, on legal matters associated with the Party’s functions, actions, or proposed actions.

5.22  The Executive Committee members (National, State, or local) may be co-opted from time to time for other duties and responsibilities as determined by the National Executive Committee and/or by the  National President as delegated.

5.23  Election of the State and National Executives’ office bearers will be conducted at the Annual General Meetings of the National and State bodies, or at special meetings called for this purpose due to emergency or unforeseen circumstances.  This will be decided on by the National/State Executives.

Should a vacancy arise in the Executive Committee for any reason, other members may fulfil the duties of the vacant position as directed until the election of a new member, on appointment by a quorum vote of the Executive.

5.24  Nomination for any position on any of the Executive Committees described above may be made by any financial member in writing. The document shall display the title of the position sought, the signature of the nominee together with the signature of a separate financial member. Both names shall be printed in legible form beneath the signatures contained on the document. The date of application shall be clearly shown. The application may be transmitted to the immediate Branch, State or National Secretary. Transmission may be electronic, by post or hand delivered. Time constraints apply for the application to be considered.

5.25  Time constraints for position nominations shall apply as follows:
a. Applications for positions shall be in the hands of the appropriate Secretary no less than 21 days prior to the said meeting.

b. Applicant’s names and the position sought shall be shown on the notice of meeting sent to members affected by the said meeting.

5.26  Interim Executive positions shall extend only until the Annual General Meeting of Members of the Party at which time all positions shall fall vacant and the positions filled via elections by the party Members.

5.27  The election of National Executive office bearers shall be either by personal vote at a scheduled AGM or a specially-convened meeting (at an agreed venue) or by electronic means as necessary.  Proxy votes will be allowed. The quorum shall be all members present at the AGM. Election shall be by majority vote (50% plus 1 vote), including proxy votes.

5.28  The Annual General Meeting shall be held between 1st July and 31st August or on a date decided by the National Executive (or a State Executive, in the case of State Executives).

5.29  Committee members shall be given no less than 28 days’ notice of the date, time and location of the Annual general Meeting. All current financial members may attend the AGM.

5.30  The tenure of a National or State Office Bearer position will be from one AGM to the next, and will be determined by a vote of members on all positions.

5.31  The National Executive (and relevant State Executive Committees, and branches) shall, ideally, hold meetings monthly ( some of  which  members may be  invited to attend ) , but  in the case of the national Executive ,an absolute  minimum of 4 times per year,  called at any time  as  circumstances warrant it . Members shall be given no less than 7 days’ notice of such meetings.

5.32  Members of the National or State Executives who are unable to attend scheduled meetings of their Executives may appoint another qualified member of that Executive as their proxy, to vote on their behalf at such meetings.

5.33  Electronic voting shall be made available to members unable to attend major meetings.

6. National, State & Local Roles

6.1 State Divisions (and/or branches or specific interest sub-committees established as necessary) will be answerable through the State Executive Committee, (or where applicable) to the Party’s National Executive.

6.2 Local branches (or sub-committees) are subject to establishment and dissolution by the National or relevant State/Division Executive Committee.

6.3 All branches (or sub-branches) shall operate in conjunction with the elected Divisional (State) Executive and the National Executive, and will promote Party polices and act in accordance within the Party Constitution at all times.

6.4 Elections for positions on National, State or Branches committees shall be conducted at the respective Annual General Meetings.

6.5 The President (or Chairperson) of the National Executive, the respective State Divisional Executives, or local Party Branches will, in the normal course, be the appointed public ‘spokesperson’ for the Party at the respective levels, but each Executive at each level may appoint other than the elected President (or Chairperson) to so act.

6.6 Any public statements issued by such appointed spokespersons (as above) on matters of policy or issues other than purely local Party matters or activities, shall, before issue, be first endorsed by the Party’s National Executive Chairman or the National Executive Secretary, in consultation with the policy and political spokesperson, to avoid conflict of advice or direction (e.g., on specific policies or political issues).

6.7 All public statements at any level of the Party will be distributed to all other Party Executives at the other levels (upper or lower), by electronic or other means, to ensure all sectors of the Party are kept abreast of party issues or activities, at all times.

6.8 In respect of all general functions and activities of the Party (other than that prescribed above), at the Local or State Divisional levels, the local Branch and/or State Executives will have a degree of autonomy to carry out and promote such activities as they choose to organise, to further the Party Charter (as defined in the Constitution), in their respective areas, regions or Divisions (States).

7. Policy Formulation

7.1 Policy formulation shall be open to participation by all financial members. Contributions (suggestions or proposals) may be made by electronic means, by mail, or by personal representation at formal National, State Division, or local branch levels, but must be submitted in writing with the financial member’s name and membership number clearly specified.

7.2 The authority for determination of policy (or any policy changes) rests with the Membership (at Annual General Meetings), and between Party AGMs, with the National Executive Committee, by majority vote.

7.3 The Party may call on authorities, community groups, specialists in particular areas of expertise, or individuals both within its membership and outside of it, to assist in the formulation of policy, as required.

8. Funding and Fund Raising

8.1 The party shall abide by all relevant laws (including electoral and association laws) in seeking membership subscriptions, donations and public funding, including the disclosure of all private (or corporate) donations.

8.2 The Mature Australia Party is unable to accept financial support from any individual, group or business which is not prepared to have such support recorded and declared in compliance with the Australian Electoral Act, the laws governing corporate conduct or any other Australian Statute requiring disclosure.

8.3 The National, State/Division or Local Executive Committee(s) shall have the right to hold functions and/or promotions to raise funds for ‘local’, national or State bodies or Party commitments (for example, membership drives or election campaigns), provided that such funds raised are properly receipted and accounted for. The National Executive must be provided with an outline of the proposed event, in advance.

8.4 In each case, such functions should be endorsed by the Party’s supervising Executive. Such functions will be clearly identified as The Mature Australia Party functions, endorsed by the Party’s supervising Executive, as above, and displaying promotional material identifying the function as such.

8.5 The assets and income of MAP will be applied solely in furtherance of its objectives as outlined in this Constitution, and no portion shall be distributed directly or indirectly to the members of the organisation except as bona fide compensation for services rendered, or expenses incurred on behalf of the Party. All donations or contributions or financial assistance gifted to the Party for a specific purpose shall be held in trust until the monies are expended pursuant to that specification.

8.6 All such monies collected and/or distributed shall be paid into the main Party bank account of the Party as soon as reasonably practicable after receipt. The bank account will be operated by the signatures of any two members of the National or State/Division Executive as decided by that Executive.

8.7 The Party will effect and maintain all insurances as are considered necessary by the National Executive to protect the interests of members (individually or collectively) and/or all aspects of the Party’s functions as a political entity.

8.8 The financial accounts for every Branch, State/Division and the National Office shall be presented for audit as requested by the National Treasurer.

8.9 All election fund-raising initiatives and undertakings by the Party will be conducted, functionally, by duly authorised Party campaign committees and, in the case of corporate and/or commercial fundraising above tax-free limits specified by the Electoral Act and/or the Tax Act, through the Party’s corporate entity, MAP Ltd, in consultation with the National Executive Committee and the relevant State and/or Territory Executives, as appropriate.

8.10 Endorsed Party candidates for election to public office (and once elected to office) shall play no part in soliciting or receiving any membership contributions, or donations or contributions from any other source, on behalf of the Party, and more specifically not in relation to any Party election activities or to their duties as elected public officers.

9. Parliamentary Representation

9.1  Any financial member of MAP will have the right to seek endorsement to stand as an official candidate for the Party at any Federal, State, or local government election or by-elections which the Party may choose to contest.

9.2  In all such cases, this will be with the approval of the Party’s National Executive and such endorsement shall be urgently notified to the Party’s Nominated Officer.

9.3  The National Executive (or a State Executive, acting on behalf of and with the agreement of the National Executive) can withdraw the endorsement of any approved candidate at any time up to an election and shall be urgently notified to the Party’s Nominated Officer.

9.4  The pre-selection process will require prospective candidates for public office (seeking MAP’s endorsement) to formally apply and submit their credentials and suitability for endorsement in writing, to the National Executive (or the relevant State Executive initially, as the case may be).

9.5  A Prospective candidate for such endorsement shall be required to show that they have the capacity (either individually or with an identified support group) to both fund and conduct an election campaign in the electorate which they seek to contest as a MAP candidate. Endorsed candidates will be assisted by the Party in their campaign efforts (financially, administratively and promotionally) to the extent of the Party’s capacity at the time. The Candidate must be prepared to be interviewed and investigated before endorsement may be obtained.
9.6  All such prospective candidates will be given the opportunity (and equal time) before a Party selection panel (specifically appointed for the purpose) to speak and to press their claims for endorsement.

9.7  In any pursuant vote, the decision on endorsement will be by a majority of votes of the National Executive Committee, on the recommendation of delegated campaign selection panels appointed by the Party.

9.8  Any disputes arising from such endorsements will be referred to the Party’s National Executive and resolved under the ‘Conflict Resolution’ segment of this constitution.

9.9  All endorsed candidates will be required to sign a Statutory Declaration
a. Affirming that they will abide by all current provisions of the Commonwealth and State electoral laws and the Commonwealth and State Parliamentary Financial Registry provisions, requiring them to declare their pecuniary interests, and that they will disclose such details as required by these provisions to the Party, also.

b. Accurately specifying any personal history of any recorded breaches by them of Commonwealth or State Electoral Acts, breaches of criminal law (National or State), or any other offences under any other Commonwealth or State Acts or legal provisions, authenticated by an official Police report (provided by the candidate at the candidate’s expense) for submission to the Electoral Commission (State or Commonwealth).

c. Affirming a commitment to abide by MAP’s Constitution and declared aims, objectives and Charter within this constitution.

d. Committing them (as sitting MPs, if elected ) to refund to the Party all funds spent by the Party on their election, in the event of their resigning from the Party ,and either joining another party, sitting as an Independent or leaving the Parliament.

9.10 MAP expects its members to abide by Party policies as set out, but will allow it’s endorsed Parliamentary Representatives a conscience vote in the Parliament, subject to authorization by the Party on agreed matters, provided it does not impinge on/or conflict with the fundamental objectives of the Party.

and

MAP respects the right of ALL elected MPs to vote at all times in the best interests of their electorates and the people (of Australia) they represent, and expect M.A.P. elected MPs to also do so.

10. Party Financial Usage

10.1 The National Executive and/or the Executive of each State Divisional Executive can decide upon travel costs (or other associated costs), with a full breakdown supplied to members at the next arranged Party meeting, subject to the availability of funds.

10.2 Any honorary payments or remunerations to be paid to any Executive member of any National or State Executive must be ratified and approved by members of the National Executive Committee.

10.3 Party funds may be used to pay for secretariat services as required from time to time, subject to approval by the State (or National ) President, acting on behalf of his/her National / State Executive, and accurate accountability for the costs incurred.

10.4 A specific fund-raising team of members or consultants may be appointed and publicly declared for that purpose.

10.5 The Mature Australia Party may withdraw endorsement or otherwise initiate action against any M.A.P .member, candidate or office-bearer offending under or breaching these conditions.

11. Financial Disclosure Obligations Under The Act

11.1  Section 314AB of the Act governs the lodgement of annual disclosures by political parties.
11.2  The Appointed Agent of MAP must within 16 weeks after the end of each financial year furnish to the AEC a return in the approved form.
11.3  The Political Party Disclosure Return (the return) requires disclosure of the following information covering the financial year from 1 July to 30 June:
a. total receipts
b. details of amounts received that are more than the disclosure threshold
c. total payments
d. total debts as at 30 June
e. details of debts outstanding as at 30 June that total more than the disclosure threshold.

11.4  State branches
11.4.1 A MAP State branch that is registered under section 130 of the Electoral Act must lodge annual financial disclosure returns covering the operation of the party in their State or Territory. The party agent of the State branch is responsible for lodging the annual financial disclosure return for the registered State branch of the party.

11.4.2 Where a MAP has State and Territory branches that are not separately registered or recognised, the party agent of the registered political party at the national level must lodge annual financial disclosure returns covering the operation of all those State and Territory branches together with the national level operations.

11.5  Recognised branches
11.5.1  Where MAP has State or Territory branches which are separately recognised by the AEC, a State or Territory branch so recognised must lodge a separate annual financial disclosure return covering the operation of the party in their State or Territory.
11.5.2 Associated entities of political parties
11.5.3 Associated entities of registered political parties must lodge similar annual financial disclosure returns.
An associated entity of a registered political party is:

a. an entity controlled by one or more registered political parties;
b. an entity that operates wholly, or to a significant extent, for the benefit of one or more registered political parties;
c. an entity that is a financial member of a registered political party or on whose behalf another person is a financial member of a registered political party
d. an entity that has voting rights in a registered political party or on whose behalf another person has voting rights in a registered political party.

12. Conflict Resolution

12.1 In the event of conflict within the Party which is not resolved by this Constitution or any other existing rules, the President of the National Executive or the relevant State Executive will act as mediator, at whichever level it is relevant to. The President engaged in resolving the conflict may appoint a qualified person to manage the conflict. The Parties engaged in the conflict shall participate in this process with a genuine attempt at resolution.

12.2 If this mediation is not successful, a motion put to a vote of either the National or State Executive, duly arranged to resolve the conflict, will in due course adjudicate and determine the matter.

12.3 Any such vote by a Divisional/ State Executive will be subject to endorsement by the National Executive.

12.4 In the event of an unresolved formal complaint being lodged by a financial member (as above) against a sitting Party Executive member (at any level), for an alleged Constitutional breach, or other breach against the Party’s best interests, the Party’s elected (or appointed Legal Liaison Co-ordinator on the National Executive may initiate a review panel of 3 or 5 State and National Executive members (at his discretion) to determine the matter. The determination shall be referred back to the National Executive for action.

13. Dissolution Process

13.1 State/Division may dissolve a Branch in that State upon a request of the Branch Members, and/or Branch Executive on a vote comprising a 60% affirmation by the State/Division Executive Committee.

The National Executive shall be advised, and depending on the severity of any breach involved or the seriousness of the situation as advised (and action recommended by the State Executive) may act to dissolve the Branch. The Dissolution Notice must show the original basis for considering dissolution, the basis of inquiries undertaken by the Executive and the conclusion reached.

13.2 The National Executive Committee may dissolve a State/Division entity upon a request of the Members of that State/Division Executive, a formal written request by Members of the Party from that State/Division supported by at least 20 signatories of Members. The Dissolution Notice must show the original basis for considering dissolution, the basis of inquiries undertaken by the Executive and the conclusion reached.

13.3 The Party at National level may be dissolved only as a result of

A formal request for dissolution by a 60% majority affirmative vote of the National Executive Committee in session. Such a request must be based on sound grounds and the request investigated in depth before a final decision to dissolve is converted into a Notice of Motion to be put to a Special General Meeting of Members. The Notice of Motion must be transmitted to every Member allowing 30 clear days before the Meeting is conducted. Electronic voting shall be acceptable.

Dissolution may then only occur with a 75% majority vote of all voting Members.

A Notice of Dissolution served upon the Registered Officer (the Party President, as defined in the Electoral Act) by the Australian Electoral Commission. Such notice shall be transmitted to all Members with advice as to how the dissolution Process is to be conducted

An Order from an Office of the Commonwealth of Australia able to issue such orders. Such notice shall be transmitted to all Members with advice as to how the dissolution Process is to be conducted.

13.4 If, upon the winding up or dissolution of the Party there remains (after satisfaction of all debts and Liabilities) any property whatsoever, the same must not be paid to or distributed among the members of the Party. It must be given or transferred to some other institution or institutions having aims and objectives similar to the policy objectives of the Party, as determined by the full National Executive, in session.

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