Caretaker conventions

During the caretaker period there are specific requirements for Australian Government websites. 

In the period before an election the Australian Government assumes a caretaker role. The caretaker period begins when the House of Representatives is dissolved and continues until the election result is clear or until a new government is appointed, if there’s a change of government.

During the caretaker period there are specific requirements for the Australian Government. These are listed in the Guidance on Caretaker Conventions and include:

  • not making major policy decisions
  • deferring significant appointments
  • avoiding entering major contracts
  • deferring international negotiations or visits
  • avoiding Australian Public Service involvement in election activities

Agencies need to carry out extra steps when managing agency and ministerial websites during the caretaker period. These steps make sure agencies manage websites in line with the Caretaker Conventions.

Section 6. 2 of the Guidance on Caretaker Conventions covers internet and electronic communications, including:

  • ensuring that agency-funded websites are not used to support any particular political party
  • which existing materials may be kept on websites and which materials may be added
  • linking from websites
  • maintaining ministerial websites during caretaker periods

Get in touch

If you have any questions about the caretaker period get in touch with the Government Division of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet on 02 6271 5399