You were warned

I warned people that the Electoral Finance Act covered e-mails and even press releases, and it is being proven right.

Heather Roy has been sending out a weekly e-mail newsletter for five years. It only goes to people who ask to receive it.  The Chief Electoral Office has advised it can be considered an election advertisement and now needs an authorisation statement.

And yes it may apply to press releases also:

Press releases, which are usually much more politically combative and seldom, if ever, carry authorisation, would be the obvious concern, potentially leaving scores of MPs in breach of the controversial new law.

But that question will not be resolved till Crown Law rules on whether a pamphlet handed to a journalist at an ACT conference could be deemed to have been published. Though material distributed to party members is exempt from the law, the journalist was not a party member.

E-mailing out a press release is probably an election advertisement. This would mean the party’s financial agent would need to authorise in writing all press releases before they go out, and they would have the financial agent’s home address on them.

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