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Thursday, 15 August 1974
Page: 1040

Senator Withers asked the Minister representing the Minister for Services and Property, upon notice:

(   1 ) Are Australian citizens on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands entitled to vote at Federal elections: if not, why not.

(2)   Are all Australian citizens in all Australian territories in the same position: if not, why not.

(3)   If the answers to (1 ) and (2) are in the negative, what steps are being taken to rectify this matter so that all Australian citizens in all Australian territories are able to vote at Federal elections.

Senator Willesee - The Minister for Services and Property has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(   1 ) An Australian citizen who is only temporarily domiciled in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands may retain voting rights in Federal elections, provided that he fulfils the enrolment qualifications specified in section 39 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act, and has retained enrolment for the appropriate Electoral Division. An Australian citizen permanently domiciled outside Australia is not entitled to enrol for a Division nor is he entitled to vote at Federal elections.

(2   ) Yes, in respect of external territories.

(3)   It is not proposed to change the 'status quo' concerning the enrolment and voting entitlement of Australian citizens permanently domiciled in external territories.

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