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Thursday, 9 December 1976
Page: 3727

Dr Klugman asked the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, upon notice:

(   1 ) In what unions and branches of unions has the Registrar received a request, under Section 1 70 of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act, that a union election be conducted by the Registrar or the Commonwealth Electoral Office with a view to preventing irregularities in each year since January 1955 to January 1976.

(2)   Which of these requests were refused by the Registrar, and what was the reason for refusal in each case.

(3)   In which of those requests granted by the Registrar was the election actually conducted by (a) the Commonwealth Electoral Officer and (b) the Registrar.

(4)   How many ballot papers were posted to union members in each of the elections conducted by the Registrar or the Commonwealth Electoral Officer.

(5)   How many of these ballot papers were (a) returned (b) not returned and (c) returned unclaimed in each of the elections.

Mr Street - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   to (5) A somewhat similar Question on Notice (No. 2236)- although covering a shorter time span, namely, 1956 to 1970- was asked of the then Minister for Labour and National Service (Mr Snedden) in October 1970 by the honourable member for Hindmarsh, Mr Clyde Cameron. This was answered by Mr Lynch on 7 September 1971 (Hansard page 899) indicating, in effect, that the information sought was too lengthy and complex to incorporate in Hansard] but that copies were available at the House of Representatives Table Office. I am informed this information is still available at the Table Office.

Subsequently, Mr Cameron obtained leave to have incorporated further information relevant to this matter, covering the same time span, in the House of Representatives Hansard of 10 May 1972 (pages 2326-2334). This further information constituted, according to Mr Cameron, 'the true position of the amount of ballot papers that are being returned in officially controlled ballots carried out by (a) the Electoral Officer and (b) the Industrial Registrar*.

As it is not considered feasible or practicable to publish, or re-publish, this lengthy material in Hansard, it is suggested that the honourable member may wish to consult the two sources cited above.

The additional information which has been collated, in the form of a Table, in order to answer the honourable member's present question up to the end of 1975, is also too lengthy and complex to be published in Hansard. Copies are, however, also available the House of Representatives Table - Office.

This additional information, which was obtained from the Office of the Industrial Registrar and the Australian Electoral Office, provides details in respect ofthe year 1955 and of the years 1971-1975 inclusive i.e. the years for which information has not already been made available in the past, as well as supplementary material for the year 1956.

The Austraiian Electoral Office has advised that its records relating to the year 1 955 are not complete and, consequently, the information provided for that year should not be regarded as exhaustive.

In addition, the Office of the Industrial Registrar has advised that, with certain exceptions, records have not been kept of the numbers of ballot papers 'Returned Unclaimed'. Equally, the Australian Electoral Office has advised that statistics of ballot material returned unclaimed have not been kept as a separate item over the period 1955-1975 with the exception of a few elections. Therefore, except for these few elections, the 'Not Returned' column in the Table includes those ballot papers which were 'Returned Unclaimed'.

Cost of Travel by Ministers (Question No. 341)

Mr Les Johnson (HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister representing the Minister for Administrative Services, upon notice:

What monthly expenditure on (a) Commonwealth cars, (b) other car services, (c) Government air services and (d) other air services, has been incurred by each Minister at present in office since appointment.

Mr Street - The Minister for Administrative Services has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

Details prepared in my Department are shown in the tables below which are based on available records of processed accounts.

Information in respect of official car transport in the A.C.T. has been provided by the Department of the Capital Territory and that for the Northern Territory by the Department ofthe Northern Territory.

The only Government air services are those provided by the VIP fleet. No costs are shown for travel by VIP aircraft. Details of people travelling on such flights are tabled in the Parliament from time to time.

The tables provide information in respect of each Minister in office as at April 1976 for the period since appointment to 31 May 1976.

Because of the honourable member's interest, the tables include similar information for former Labor Ministers and for Opposition Office-holders. Details provided in respect of Labor Ministers are for the period from 1 July 1975 to November 1975 only, as the relevant information is not available prior to 1 July 1975.

The tables do not include costs associated with overseas visits. Because of the length and complexity of the tables it is not proposed to publish them in Hansard Copies are, however, available in the House of Representatives Table Office.

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