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Monday, 11 December 1905

Mr BAMFORD (Herbert) - I should like to know what effect this amendment will have upon the present redistribution ?

Mr. GROOM(Darling Downs- Minister of Home Affairs). - The amendment will not affect it. The intention of the paragraph may be readily explained. If, for instance, it appears, on a return of the electoral population, that one-fourth of the constituencies in New South Wales are so, disjointed that the number of electors in each of them is more than one-fifth above or below the quota, the Minister will straight away order a redistribution. I understand that the existing conditions are such that the number of divisions which depart from the quota to a greater extent than is allowed by the Act is greater than that for which we now proposeto provide.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment (by Mr. Batchelor) agreed to -

That the word " one-third," line 8, be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the word "one-fourth."

Mr. GROOM(Darling Downs - Minister of Home Affairs). - In accordance with a promise which was made in another place to Senator Millen, I move -

That at the beginning of paragraphc the following words be inserted : - " Notwithstanding anything in this section contained."

The intention is to make it perfectly clear that the Minister shall have power, under conditions other than those specified in paragraphs a and b, to order a redistribution.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. LONSDALE(New England).- In private conversation with the Minister, I have pointed out that I think it necessary to amend section 17 of the principal Act. In some cases, those residing on the borders of new divisions that have been mapped out find it impossible to define the boundaries marked on the maps, because there are no descriptions with them. I think that we should so amend section 17 as to provide for something being done to overcome the difficulty.

Mr Groom - The proper course for the honorable member to pursue will be to move, at a later stage, the insertion of a new clause.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 14 -

The whole of Part IV. of the Principal Act is repealed, and the following Part substituted in lieu thereof : - "Part IV. - Subdivisions and Polling places.

24.   The Governor-General may, in any case in which he thinks fit to do so, by proclamation divide any Division into Subdivisions.

25.   The Minister may, by notice in the

Gazette -

(a)   appoint a chief polling place for each

Division ;

(b)   appoint such other polling places for each

Division as he thinks necessary ;

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