Printing and Communications Definitions

The definitions below specifically relate to the printing and communications entitlement.

Parliamentary Purposes

‘Parliamentary purposes’ is not defined in the Parliamentary Entitlements Regulations 1997 (PE Regulations).

However, parliamentary purposes has been interpreted to include the conduct of business directly related to a Senator or Member’s membership of the Parliament or by reason of holding a particular office of the Parliament, or the performance of functions and responsibilities in, or in relation to, the Parliament or either House of the Parliament, or of its Committees.

Examples of Parliamentary purposes may include:

  • communicating with constituents, including:
    • informing constituents about the laws, or proposed laws, considered or being considered by the Parliament
    • informing constituents about issues or other matters that have been raised or discussed in the Parliament
  • representing the Parliament or either House of the Parliament
  • representing to the Parliament or a Parliamentary Office-holder the interests of persons or organisations affected by the laws, or the proposed laws, of the Parliament
  • attendance at meetings of the Parliament or of either House of the Parliament
  • attendance at meetings of a Committee of the Parliament or of either House of the Parliament
  • attendance at or support for meetings of the Senator or Member’s Federal Parliamentary Political Party, its Federal Parliamentary Executive or of its Federal Parliamentary Committees for matters relating to the Federal Parliamentary Party’s platform*
  • attendance at meetings, functions or events to which a Senator or Member has been invited to attend, or attends, in his or her capacity as a member of the Parliament
  • undertaking research or administrative functions that relate directly to the business of the Parliament.

* Does not include activities relating to the internal administration (for example, pre-selection decisions or fund raising activities) of the Federal Parliamentary Political Party.

In considering whether or not an item is for Parliamentary purposes within the meaning of the printing and communications entitlement, there must be a nexus between the content of the item being printed and/or distributed, and the conduct of business directly related to a Senator or Member’s membership of the Parliament or by reason of holding a particular office of the Parliament, or the performance of functions and responsibilities in, or in relation to, the Parliament or either House of the Parliament, or of its Committees.

For example, it would be parliamentary business for:

  • a Shadow Minister to write to stakeholders associated with their portfolio responsibilities anywhere
  • a Senator or Member to write to stakeholders associated with committee work being undertaken by the Senator or Member
  • a Senator or Member to respond to correspondence received from outside their electorate or state.

Electorate Purposes

‘Electorate purposes’ is not defined in the PE Regulations.

However, electorate purposes, in relation to a Senator or Member’s constituents, will be interpreted to include:

  • participating in public debate at meetings or events
  • communicating with constituents, including:
    • informing constituents about the laws, or proposed laws, considered or being considered by the Parliament
    • informing constituents about issues or other matters that have been raised or discussed in the Parliament
    • representing the interests of constituents
    • discussing or debating a Senator or Member’s policies, or those of his or her party, or another party.

Party Business

Under the PE Regulations, party business is defined to mean:

the production, communication or distribution of material that:

  • is, or contains, how-to-vote material; or
  • solicits subscriptions or other financial support for a member, political party or a candidate.

Party business does include material that specifies, or seeks to instruct on, the manner in which a ballot paper is to be marked.  This could include a how-to-vote card, but could also include how-to-vote instructions contained within other material, for example, how-to-vote instructions contained within a newsletter, an advertisement or on a website.

Party business does not include:

  • the production, communication or distribution of a postal vote application
  • advising constituents of the locations of polling booths on election day or pre-poll locations, or a general exhortation to support a particular person, political policy or political party
  • seeking the views of the voting preferences of the electorate, for example, as part of a questionnaire on a survey.

Examples of phrases that can be included in material produced under the printing and communications entitlement include:

  • X Party working for you
  • Senator X and the X Party
  • Remember to vote on polling day

Examples of phrases that cannot be included in material produced under the printing and communications entitlement because they come within the definition of party business in the PE Regulations include:

  • Vote 1 for the X Party
  • Donate to X Party
  • Donate to my re-election campaign
  • Join the X Party

Commercial Purposes

Commercial purposes’ is not defined in the PE Regulations.

Commercial purposes will be interpreted to mean a purpose relating to the derivation of financial gain or reward, whether as a board member, an office-holder, an employee, a self‑employed person or otherwise.

This is the same definition contained in the Members of Parliament (Life Gold Pass) Act 2002.