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Thursday, 4 December 1986
Page: 3370

Senator PETER BAUME —I direct my question to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Against the background that the current Commonwealth electoral roll for the Division of Blaxland in New South Wales shows that Paul John Keating resides at 14 Fishburn Street, Red Hill in the Australian Capital Territory, and further that he is not enrolled as a State elector anywhere in New South Wales, I ask: Does the Commonwealth Electoral Act in section 93 require that a person be enrolled at his `real place of living'? If Mr Keating has identified for the purposes of the Commonwealth Electoral Act that an Australian Capital Territory address is his real place of living, how can he, and how could he, claim travelling allowance for nights he sleeps at this real place of living? Do these facts not reveal that Mr Keating has either breached the Commonwealth Electoral Act, or else breached the rules laid down by the Remuneration Tribunal, which provide for the payment of travelling allowance only in respect of time spent away from `the principal place of residence?

Senator BUTTON —I take it that what Senator Peter Baume is seeking to establish is that Mr Keating is in exactly the same sort of position as Mr Sinclair, Mr Hunt, Senator Lewis and a number of other members of the Opposition. The question is defective in one respect only as far as the facts may be concerned, and that is that Senator Baume has not taken the trouble to search out whether or not Mr Keating is on the electoral roll in the Australian Capital Territory. Senator Baume should do that and ask again. This matter has been the subject of numerous questions and explanations, and I have nothing to add on the basis of new information.