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Thursday, 10 November 1983
Page: 2601

Mr STEELE HALL(4.09) —I move:

(2) Clause 9, page 30, at the end of proposed section 25T add 'and any member of the Redistribution Committee who disagrees with the reasons for the proposed redistribution shall state in writing the reasons for his dissent'.

The purpose of this amendment is to ensure that the reasons why a distribution is accomplished will be visible to the people and that the Australian Electoral Commission's various views will be tabulated so that they can be publicly scrutinised. As I understand the legislation as it exists at the moment, a majority view of the Redistribution Committee could and would be promulgated, published and dealt with in the required way. However, the reasons, which might be quite interesting reasons, might visibly affect a future distribution, or the standards of distributions to come would be affected by a publication of the dissenting view. My amendment contains the words 'shall state'. The amendment to be moved by the Government contains the words 'may state'. I regret that the legislation is weakened, in the sense that the provision is not mandatory but it is simply the choice of the particular person. I am very pleased that the Government has seen the merit of this amendment, and I will not quibble about the alteration of the words.