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Candidates announced for the election of delegates to the constitutional convention



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MEDIA RELEASE SENATOR NICK MINCHIN Special Minister of State with responsibility for the Constitutional Convention

9 October 1997

Candidates announced for the election of delegates to the Constitutional Convention

The range of candidates contesting the Constitutional Convention election reflects the diversity of opinion in Australia on the issue of our head of state.

The election of delegates to the Convention is a key part of the Government’s election commitment to facilitate a debate by the Australian people on the issue of a republic.

The Government is pleased with the choice of groups and candidates available to Australian voters, and looks foiward to a constructive election campaign by all involved.

Ballot papers will be mailed to electors in November and must be returned by 9 December. The election results will be announced in early January, and the Convention will be held in February 1998.

The Government is preparing a public information programme which will provide balanced and easily understood information on the issues in the republic debate. This information will be available prior to voting.

Voters will have at least three weeks to complete their ballot paper and mail it back to the AEC. The AEC will accept ballot papers up until 6pm on 9 December.

For voters with limited English, assistance will be available from a telephone interpreter service in 15 languages.

People who are not at their address during the mailout period should arrange to have their mail forwarded, or should contact the AEC to have their materials sent to another address. People overseas at the time of voting can get a ballot paper package from one of 99

embassies or missions.

Voting is not compulsory, but I encourage all electors to exercise their right to vote. The election for delegates is an important way to ensure that a range of views are represented at the Convention.

The AEC has established a national enquiry line to answer queries about the election. The number is 13 23 26 in all States and Territories.

COMMONWEALTH

For further information, contact Kate Schulze on (02)1S2WEBB.SMMBW32 664.