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Monday, 11 December 1905

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - For the reason that when the officers are give considerable powers in the placing of names on the rolls, there must be opportunity given to the public to object.

Mr Page - In a particular instance in Queensland, objection was made to a whole roll, and all those electors objected to had to attend.

Mr Watson - Objections are made on " spec."

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Even if that be so, a payment of1s. each would amount to a considerable sum in the case of a whole roll being objected to.

Mr Page - What would the Pastoralists' Association care about the payment of 1s. for each objection?

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - What does it matter to a rich association whether the amount be 5s. or1s. ?

Mr Batchelor - If the amount be1s. the wealthy association will simply object to five times as many electors.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I do not think so; and if the payment be raised we may shut out legitimate objectors. I think the payment in New South Wales is 1s. for each objection.

Mr Watson - I think so.

Mr Groom - In New South Wales, is there a penalty in case of frivolous objections ?

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - That is another matter. The honorable member for Boothby raised a point which is worth considering, as to a penalty for frivolous objection. But placing difficulties in the way of legitimate objectors is an entirely different matter.

Mr Groom - There is a penalty not exceeding £5 under the original Act.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I do not know whether that has been struck out.

Mr Groom - Yes.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - As I have already said, the point raised by the honorable member for Boothby is worth consideration. Where a person has raised a frivolous objection, he ought to incur a reasonable penalty, but I do not desire to discourage legitimate objections. The New South Wales objection fee is, I think,1s., and the Commissioner reported that, owing to this amount having to be paid, practically no objections were lodged by the public. People to whom 5s. will be a serious consideration should have the opportunity of lodging a legitimate objection toa name on the roll. I am quite with the honorable member for Boothby in making provision against frivolous objections, and it may be desirable to have a sufficient penalty for that purpose. But I am not in favour of a fee which will have the effect of inducing persons to refuse to take steps to remove names from the roll.

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