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Election and referendum blackout periods

You cannot broadcast election ads on TV or radio during election blackout periods or referendum ads during referendum blackout periods.

Current blackout periods

We will only list information here on blackout periods for referendums and these elections:

  • federal, including by-elections
  • state
  • territory.

See your state or territory electoral commission for information on:

  • state by-elections
  • local government elections.

The blackout period

You cannot broadcast any election or referendum ads from the end of the Wednesday before the relevant polling day until the close of the poll on polling day. This rule applies to general elections, by-elections for the state, territory and federal Parliaments and referendums. It does not apply to local government elections.

The blackout period only applies to broadcasters. Online services (including streamed content viewed on smart TVs) and print media can still publish election or referendum ads during a blackout period.

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