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Thursday, 21 March 1985
Page: 568

Senator ELSTOB —Is the Minister representing the Special Minister of State able to say whether consideration has been given to using the specialised skills of the forms working group either to assess or develop a simpler voting form? Could this group also be an effective resource to use when formulating and evaluating voting information and advertising campaigns?

Senator GARETH EVANS —I am advised by the Special Minister of State that such consideration has been given to this question. The Australian Electoral Commission has asked Professor Robert Eagleson of the Government's plain English program to review a number of Electoral Commission pamphlets and ballot papers. Professor Eagleson is expected to report to the Commission on 27 March. The material submitted for review includes 1984 House of Representatives ballot papers, Senate ballot papers, the referendums ballot paper, posters, information pamphlets, and the electoral enrolment claim card. In addition, staff from the Commission involved in information and education programs are participating in plain English workshops conducted by Professor Eagleson. Should significant changes be proposed to ballot papers, in particular, arising out of this process, they will be put to the Joint Select Committee on Electoral Reform for consideration.