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Wednesday, 3 May 1961


Mr McCOLM (Bowman) (2:25 AM) .This matter has been discussed at considerable length, but I should like to be clear on it. As I understand the position, the Minister has stated that even with the proposed amendment of the act there will still be a blank period of seven days before an election when a person may not record a vote with an electoral visitor.


Mr Freeth - Yes, that is true.


Mr Whitlam - He may still apply for a postal vote, but he cannot arrange for the electoral visitor to call unless he has applied seven days before polling date.


Mr Freeth - It would be mechanically impossible, anyhow.


Mr McCOLM - I disagree with the Minister on this matter. As has been said before, there is no doubt that malpractices exist. Under the existing legislation there is no way in which they can be pinned down. Penalties are provided, but the position is so wide open in some ways that you just cannot get a conviction recorded against the people concerned, although you know that certain things are going on. I hope that that point will not be lost sight of. I do not know how this difficulty is to be overcome without superimposing some other system on the existing system. I do not think that we can get a complete alternative to the existing system. For that reason, I propose to support the amendment. I think that it represents one of the closest approaches that we can make to the rectification of something which I know to be wrong.







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