Publicity for parliamentary purposes
Publicity carried out by members of Parliament and parliamentary political parties during the normal course of their business can be funded from Vote: Parliamentary Service. The publicity must meet the funding rules set out in the ‘Speaker’s Directions’.
Members of Parliament and parliamentary political parties are funded from Vote: Parliamentary Service to undertake their parliamentary business. Parliamentary business generally refers to any task or function that a member could reasonably be expected to carry out in his or her capacity as a member, or a party could reasonably be expected to carry out that complements the business of the House of Representatives.
In the normal course of their business, members undertake publicity to promote their accessibility to constituents, and to communicate their views and those of their party on policy issues and the business of Parliament. Parties publicise their position on policy issues and their achievements.
Publicity rules — ‘Speaker’s Directions’
Publicity can be funded from Vote: Parliamentary Service if it meets the rules set out in the ‘Speaker’s Directions’ (or ‘Directions and Specifications for Services and Funding Entitlements for the House of Representatives, its Members, and Former Members’). The rules require that publicity funded from Vote: Parliamentary Service:
has a parliamentary purpose;
identifies that it has been paid for by the Parliamentary Service;
contains contact details for the member or party responsible for the publicity;
does not contain inappropriate/misleading representation or descriptions of electorates; and
does not contain electioneering that explicitly seeks support for the re-election of a member or party, explicitly encourages party membership or explicitly solicits financial support.
House of Representatives crest
Members and parties commonly use the House of Representatives crest to identify that publicity has been paid for by Vote: Parliamentary Service. The crest, however, is a House of Representatives identifier that can be used for other purposes, and therefore use of the crest is not synonymous with compliance with the parliamentary publicity rules.
Parliamentary publicity and election advertising
The rules relating to parliamentary publicity are separate from the rules relating to election advertising that are specified in the Electoral Finance Act 2007. The two sets of rules operate independently and both must be complied with. This means that a piece of publicity funded from Vote: Parliamentary Service could have a parliamentary purpose and, without being explicit electioneering, also be an election advertisement.
Advice about publicity for parliamentary purposes is provided by the Parliamentary Service. Information about election advertising and compliance with the Electoral Finance Act 2007 is provided by the electoral agencies.