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Tuesday, 11 April 1972
Page: 940

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister representing the Minis ter for the Interior, upon notice:

What efforts are made by Divisional Electoral Officers to ensure that adult Aborigines enrolled on electoral rolls.

Senator COTTON - The Minister for the Interior has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

Every two or three years Electoral Officers conduct educational programmes for the purpose of acquainting the Aboriginal people of their enrolment and voting rights. These programmes entail visits by Electoral Officers to missions, government settlements, pastoral properties and other places where it is found possible to assemble and address groups of Aboriginal people.

Electoral claims are available from missions and settlements as well as from Post Offices and Electoral Offices.

Enrolment is not compulsory for Aboriginal natives of Australia and it is an offence under the provisions of the Commonwealth Electoral Act to interfere or to attempt to interfere with the free exercise by an Aborigine of bis choice whether or not to enrol as an elector.

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