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Important notice

doctorportal Learning is on the move as we will be launching a new website very shortly. If you would like to sign up to dp Learning now to register for CPD learning or to use our CPD tracker, please email support@doctorportal.com.au so we can assist you. If you are already signed up to doctorportal Learning, your login will work in the new site so you can continue to enrol for learning, complete an online module, or access your CPD tracker report.

To access and/or sign up for other resources such as Jobs Board, Bookshop or InSight+, please go to www.mja.com.au, or click the relevant menu item and you will be redirected.

All other doctorportal services, such as Find A Doctor, are no longer available.

Access to the Commonwealth electoral roll for medical research

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The Commonwealth electoral roll (ER) is the best source of representative samples of Australian adults for public health research purposes.1,2 The Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 provides that ER data may be released for medical research in accordance with national privacy guidelines,3,4 on request and payment of a fee.5 The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) relies on the Federal Privacy Commissioner’s definition of medical research when making decisions regarding the disclosure of elector information.6

In July 2010, we sought a random sample of 9000 electors from the AEC for a study seeking to establish the views of Australians on privacy and participation in epidemiological research. The study was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and approved by Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (MUHREC). Over the next year, despite our cooperation in responding to numerous requests, the AEC refused to provide the sample. The AEC expressed…