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Tuesday, 23 August 1983
Page: 101

Question No. 202

Mr Blanchard asked the Special Minister of State, upon notice, on 24 May 1983:

(1) Has his attention been drawn to the claim at the recent Western Australian election, of considerable variation between the State and Federal rolls for similar electoral divisions; if so, can he say how these variations may have occurred.

(2) Will he instruct the Australian Electoral Officer for Western Australia to supply, at regular and frequent intervals, to the Western Australian Minister for Electoral Reform, up-to-date divisional figures and other relevant information to assist the State Government in its pursuit of electoral justice.

Mr Young —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) I am generally aware that there are differences between the Commonwealth and State electoral rolls in Western Australia. In the main these differences stem from the fact that the Commonwealth and the State maintain quite separate electoral rolls and electors need to complete both a Commonwealth and a State enrolment claim card in order to secure Commonwealth and State enrolment. There are also differences in the Commonwealth and State legislation which could be a contributing factor-especially the very restrictive witnessing provisions of the State legislation.

However, all this will change in the near future. The Western Australian Minister for Parliamentary and Electoral Reform has announced a number of amendments to the State legislation-all designed to improve the State legislation and to facilitate a Commonwealth-State arrangement under which electors would be able to secure Commonwealth and State enrolment by the completion of a single claim card. A formal arrangement will need to await the passage of the Western Australian legislation. Preliminary discussions between the Commonwealth and State electoral officials are proceeding with a view to early implementation of joint enrolment once the State legislation is in place.

(2) There is already an exchange of information between the Commonwealth and State electoral administrations. The Australian Electoral Office in Western Australia provides a weekly list of all new enrolments and roll alterations made by it to the State Department. Such statistical information as the State Department requires is supplied to it on request. These arrangements have been in operation for the last 18 months.