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Monday, 11 December 1905

Mr ROBINSON (Wannon) - I am not quite sure that this clause does cover objections by returning officers. If in the principal Act it is provided that no costs shall be awarded against an officer if the Court is satisfied that in lodging the objection he acted in good faith and on reasonable ground, why should we not take a similar precaution in this case ? The amendment may place it in the power of an individual to get at the Commonwealth for a good round sum.

Mr Batchelor - But the returning officer would be the judge.

Mr ROBINSON - Yes ; but we ought not to leave the Commonwealth open to be attacked in that way.

Mr. LONSDALE(New England).- It is the duty of an officer to take off any names which should not be on the roll. In performing this duty, he may make a mistake, but he is not likely to deliberately make a frivolous objection. The proposed fine may or may not be too large to be inflicted in other cases, but certainly in the case of an officer who has- made a mistake it should not be possible for an elector to enforce a claim for costs against him.

Mr Batchelor - Suppose that a frivolous objection has been lodged by. an officer, and that the man whose name has been objected to has been put to considerable expense, should it not be reimbursed to him?

Mr LONSDALE - An officer might lodge an objection to the name of some per son whom he believed to be outside the district, but who was not.

Mr Batchelor - Then it would not be a frivolous objection.

Mr LONSDALE - An officer who was fonud to have made a frivolous objection should be removed.

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