Media Releases → 2017


Confirming eligibility to participate in the Marriage Law Postal Survey

Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance
Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for Western Australia
Acting Special Minister of State

Date: Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Last week the suggestion was made by some that under the terms of the Census and Statistics (Statistical Information) Direction 2017, 16 and 17 year olds would be able to participate in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey. 

In relation to this, advice received by the Government from the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), which they also published made clear that this was not correct.

Specifically, the AEC made clear that:

The normal enrolment processes apply – 16 and 17 year olds are not added to the Commonwealth electoral roll until they turn 18. They are ‘provisionally’ enrolled until they turn 18. Under section 90B of the Commonwealth Electoral Act the AEC only provided the details of electors that are enrolled, not provisionally enrolled. Section 90B is the AEC’s authority to provide the roll to the ABS, therefore 16 and 17 year olds will not be included in the Australia Marriage Law Postal Survey.

Despite that AEC confirmation, the question as to the status of 16 and 17 year olds in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey continues to be raised by some.

For the avoidance of any doubt and to make absolutely clear that to participate in this survey, Australians have to be enrolled on the Electoral Roll and be eligible to participate in a Federal Election by the end of 24 August 2017, I have issued a further direction to the Australian Statistician to make that intention absolutely clear.


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