Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Voter Protections) Bill

Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Voter Protections) Bill 2023

Currently under Australian law it is perfectly legal to lie in a political ad.

Public trust in politicians has been eroded over time and some of that erosion is due to their ability to lie in political ads. 

In November 2023 I introduced a new Bill to parliament, the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Voter Protections in Political Advertising) Bill 2023 that aims to bring greater integrity to the political process. This is an update to my previous Private Members Bill, the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Stop the Lies) Bill 2022.

We have laws to protect consumers from misleading advertising, but it’s perfectly legal to lie in a political advertisement.  It’s time we protect voters.

Australian law recognises the importance of protecting consumers from scams and unfounded claims. In consumer advertising, claims need to be true, accurate and based on reasonable grounds and any claims advertised must be able to be proved. Yet politicians and political advertising are not held to the same standard.

Misleading and deceptive advertising can lead to scaremongering and distractions getting in the way of a fair debate, so it’s no wonder public trust in politicians has been eroded over time.

Freedom of speech comes with responsibility and should not be a free pass for political campaigners and third party organisations to intentionally misinform and lie with impunity. 

My legislation aims to bring much-needed accountability to the landscape of political advertising in our nation, something I believe is long overdue.



This style of voter protection legislation is not without precedent. South Australia's truth-in-political-advertising provision has successfully operated since 1985 and survived constitutional and legislative scrutiny.



You can read the full Explanatory Memorandum and the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Voter Protections) Bill here.

Or, you can read an overview of the Bill below, or here



I’ve had many people ask what they can do to help make this bill law. You can write to your local MP, urging them to support my bill. 

We have a draft letter here which you can use as inspiration: Write to your MP in support of better voter protections in political advertising