If the Speaker is satisfied that the seat of a member elected to represent an electoral district has become vacant, the Speaker must, without delay, publish a notice of the vacancy and its cause in the Gazette.
The Governor-General must, within 21 days after the date of a notice published in accordance with subsection (1), issue to the Electoral Commission a writ in form 6 requiring the Electoral Commission to make all necessary arrangements for the conduct of a by-election to fill the vacancy.
In any case in which it appears to the Governor-General to be necessary for special reasons, the Governor-General may, by Order in Council, authorise the postponement of the issue of a writ for a by-election until a day stated in the Order in Council, being a day not later than 42 days after the date on which the notice was published in accordance with subsection (1).
This section does not apply to a vacancy that occurs in the period between a dissolution or expiration of Parliament and the close of polling day at the next general election.
Section 129: substituted, on 28 February 2002, by section 49 of the Electoral Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 1).
Section 129(2): amended, on 1 October 2010, by section 32(1)(a) of the Electoral (Administration) Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 26).