28—Publication of misleading material
electoral material contains a statement purporting to be a statement of fact;
statement is inaccurate and misleading to a material extent,
a person who authorised, caused or permitted the publication of the
material (the "publisher") is guilty of an offence.
Maximum penalty: $5 000.
(2) It is a defence to
a charge of an offence against subsection (1) for the defendant to
he or she took no part in determining the contents of the material; and
he or she could not reasonably be expected to have known that the statement to
which the charge relates was inaccurate and misleading.
(2a) If the Electoral
Commissioner is satisfied that published electoral material contains a
statement purporting to be a statement of fact that is inaccurate and
misleading to a material extent, the Electoral Commissioner may request the
publisher to do 1 or more of the following:
withdraw the material from further publication;
publish a retraction in specified terms and a specified manner and form,
(and in proceedings for an offence against subsection (1) arising from
the material, the publisher's response to a request under this subsection may
be taken into account in assessing any penalty to which the publisher may be
(3) This section
applies to material published by any means (including radio or television).
(4) No action under
this section lies against the returning officer with respect to the
publication of material provided to the returning officer by a candidate for
election under section 19.