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Government delay on referendum bill deplorable



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SENATOR JIM SHORT S H A D O W MINISTER FOR HOM E AFFAIRS

MEDIA RELEASE THE SENATE

GOVERNMENT DELAY ON REFERENDUM BILL DEPLORABLE

Yesterday the Opposition provided the Government -with a legal opinion from Mr Alan Goldberg, QC that there is no legal reason for the Government not to proceed with the passage before 3 September of the Opposition's Referendum Bill in relation to

informal ballot papers (in particular "ticks" and "crosses").

I have been advised by the Minister for Home Affairs' Office that the Attorney General's Department will not advise the Government on the Goldberg opinion until tomorrow (Wednesday) morning.

This delay is to be deplored.

It is essential that the Government pass the Opposition's Bill immediately and have it promulgated before 3 September in order to remove the bias and growing confusion surrounding this issue.

Canberra, 6 pm, 30 August 1988

For further information, contact Senator Short on (062) 77 3118

1ST FLOOR, 80 SYDNEY ROAD, BRUNSWICK, VICTORIA 3056. PHONE (03) 387 4177, 380 2714 (A.H.)