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Comment on Kimberley election

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Comment on Kimberley election 7 November 1977 — In a statement today the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. E. G. Whitlam, said:

The Liberal Party in Western Australia has been exposed as a party which set out deliberately to deprive Aborigi·. nals of their right to vote. The confirmation came todav with the judgment by the Western Australian Supreme = Court that the result of the Kimberley poll in the last State"

election was void due to malpractice.

Although he is now no longer the Member for Kim· berley, Alan Ridge is still the Liberal State Minister f o r Health. Not only has the Liberal Government supported Mr Ridge in his humiliation of Aboriginal voters, it ha' further exacerbated the situation by legislating to dens them, and any other Western Australian who is unable t. read, the basic right to vote. The Western Ausraliar' Government is guilty of gross discrimination against n<·- only Aboriginals, particularly elderly ones, but againv ■

many migrants, particularly women.

Aboriginals, alone among Australian citizens, are not compelled to enrol as electors. It is reasonable to assume' . that, just as Liberals in Western Australia have beer- caught out in deterring Aboriginals who have enrolled • from voting, they have also been responsible for deternr.g

Aboriginals from enrolling. For this reason Kalgooriic Federal electorate has just been made an even larger elec­ torate than ever before in area and the largest electorate ir. population in Western Australia. If all Aboriginals in Kal·' goorlie were to be enrolled, this Federal electorate could have been smaller in area and more manageable r .


The next Federal Labor Government will ensure th-it all Australian citizens will be able to vote, not only as j right but as an obligation, in both State and Fedcr-i: elections.