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Electoral and Referendum Amendment Bill 1998
Schedule 2 Amendment of the Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984


1  Subsection 3(1) (subparagraphs (b)(ii), (iii) and (iv) of the definition of authorized witness )

Omit “another part of the Queen’s dominions”, substitute “a Commonwealth country”.

2  Subsection 3(1) (subparagraph (b)(v) of the definition of authorized witness )

Repeal the subparagraph, substitute:

                             (v)  an Australian citizen.

For the purposes of this definition, Commonwealth country means a political entity, or part of a political entity, that is a member of the international organisation known as the Commonwealth of Nations.

3  Subsection 3(1)


certified list of voters , in respect of a Division, means a list prepared and certified under subsection 22(1).

4  Paragraph 4(2)(b)

Omit “issue of the writ”, substitute “close of the Rolls”.

5  Section 22

Repeal the section, substitute:

22   Certified lists of voters

             (1)  The Electoral Commissioner must arrange for the preparation of a list of voters for each Division and must certify the list.

             (2)  The list must include the name of each person who:

                     (a)  is on the Roll for the Division; and

                     (b)  will be at least 18 years old on voting day.

             (3)  The Electoral Commissioner must arrange for the delivery to the presiding officer at each polling place, before the start of voting, of a copy of the certified list of voters for the Division for which the polling place is appointed.

6  Paragraph 25(1)(b)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (b)  have a buff background colour.

7  Section 25A

Repeal the section, substitute:

25A   Official mark

                   The official mark for the authentication of ballot-papers is either:

                     (a)  a water mark consisting of a representation of a shield having within it the letters “CA” intertwined; or

                     (b)  an overprinting of the paper in a particular manner, and using words, a design or a logo, approved by the Electoral Commission.

8  Subsection 30(1)

Omit “him”, substitute “the presiding officer”.

9  Subsection 30(4)

After “certified list” (wherever occurring), insert “of voters”.

10  After section 36


36A   Certain voters may vote outside polling place

             (1)  If the presiding officer at a polling place is satisfied that a voter is unable to enter the polling place because of physical disability, illness, advanced pregnancy or other condition, the presiding officer may allow the voter to vote outside the polling place, in close proximity to the polling place.

             (2)  Before allowing the voter to vote outside the polling place, the presiding officer must:

                     (a)  inform any scrutineers at the polling place that the voter is to vote outside the polling place; and

                     (b)  allow one scrutineer per candidate (of the scrutineers present) to be present when the voter votes.

             (3)  Subject to subsection (5), the voter:

                     (a)  must mark his or her vote on the ballot-paper in the presence of a polling official; and

                     (b)  must fold the ballot-paper so as to conceal the names of the candidates, and hand the ballot-paper to the polling official.

             (4)  The polling official must ensure that the folded ballot-paper is immediately returned to the polling place and put in the ballot-box in the presence of any scrutineers who were present when the voter voted.

             (5)  If the voter also satisfies the presiding officer that he or she is unable to vote without assistance, the presiding officer may, with the voter’s consent, allow a polling official to mark and fold the voter’s ballot-paper.

             (6)  The voter must indicate to the polling official how the voter wishes the polling official to mark the voter’s ballot-paper.

             (7)  Without limiting the methods by which the voter may indicate, for the purposes of subsection (6), how the voter wishes to vote, the voter may present to the polling official a statement in writing (which may be, or include, a how-to-vote card) specifying how the ballot-paper is to be marked.

             (8)  If subsection (5) applies to an absent or provisional voter, the polling official must:

                     (a)  fill in the declaration referred to in subsection 37(2) or 46(1) with the required particulars as requested by the voter; and

                     (b)  read the declaration to the voter; and

                     (c)  complete and attest the declaration; and

                     (d)  cause the declaration to be witnessed by a scrutineer, or, if no scrutineer is present, by a polling official.

11  Paragraph 40(b)

Omit “is enclosed;”, substitute “is enclosed.”.

12  Subsection 45(3)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (3)  Subject to subsection (4), within the period of 3 months after the voting day at a referendum, each DRO must:

                     (a)  send a penalty notice by post; or

                     (b)  arrange for a penalty notice to be delivered by other means;

to the latest known address of each elector whose name appears on the list prepared under subsection (2).

13  Paragraph 46A(5)(c)

Omit all the words after “his or her”, substitute “Division that, in accordance with subsection (5A), are received within sufficient time to be taken into account in the scrutiny”.

14  After subsection 46A(5)


          (5A)  An envelope referred to in paragraph (5)(c) is received by a DRO within sufficient time to be taken into account in the scrutiny:

                     (a)  if it is received by the DRO within 13 days after the close of the poll; or

                     (b)  if:

                              (i)  it is received by the DRO from another DRO or from a person referred to in subsection (7) or (9) within 13 days after the close of the poll or such longer time as the Electoral Commissioner, before the end of that period, directs in writing; and

                             (ii)  it bears evidence that it was received, prior to the close of the poll, by that other DRO, by a pre-poll voting officer, by an Assistant Returning Officer at a place outside Australia or by a presiding officer.

15  Subsection 49(1)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (1)  The Electoral Commission may, by notice published in the Gazette , at any time, declare the whole or a specified part of a hospital, not being a hospital that is a polling place, to be a special hospital for the purposes of this section.

16  Subsection 49A(1)

Omit “person”, substitute “persons”.

17  Subsection 49A(6)

Omit “arrangments”, substitute “arrangements”.

18  Subsection 50(2A)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

          (2A)  A presiding officer or electoral visitor who visits a patient under section 48 or 49 must:

                     (a)  advise the patient that literature relating to the referendum supplied by political parties is available; and

                     (b)  give to the patient any such literature that the patient requests.

The literature may include how-to-vote cards.

19  After section 55


56   Application forms for postal votes

             (1)  An application form for a postal vote may be physically attached to, or form part of, other written material issued by any person or organisation.

             (2)  For the purposes of the Copyright Act 1968 , if a person other than the owner of the copyright in the application form for a postal vote reproduces the application form, the person is not taken to have infringed the copyright in the application form.

20  Subsection 58(2) (paragraph (a) of the definition of postal voting papers )

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (a)  a postal vote certificate; and

21  Subsection 58(2) (at the end of the definition of postal voting papers )


             ; and (c)  an envelope addressed to the DRO.

22  Subsection 61(1)

After “post”, insert “or arrange to be delivered”.

23  Subsection 73B(4)

Omit “close”, substitute “are declared under subsection 176(2) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 ”.

24  Subsection 73B(5)

Omit “close”, substitute “are declared under subsection 176(1) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 ”.

25  Subsection 93(3)

Omit “or (2)(b)”.

26  Subsection 98(1)

Omit “to him”.

27  After section 107


107AA   Court must make decision quickly

                   The Court must make its decision on a petition as quickly as is reasonable in the circumstances.

28  Section 108A

Omit “ Broadcasting Act 1942 ”, substitute “ Broadcasting Services Act 1992 ”.

29  Heading to Part IX

Repeal the heading, substitute:

Part IX Returns by broadcasters and publishers

30  Subsection 112(3)

Omit “him”, substitute “the publisher”.

31  Subsection 124(1)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (1)  Subject to subsection (2), where an article or a paragraph in a journal contains matter intended or calculated to affect the result of a referendum (whether or not the article was inserted for payment) the proprietor of the journal must cause the word “advertisement” (in letters not smaller than 10 point) to be printed as a headline to the article or paragraph:

                     (a)  if the article or paragraph takes up one page or part of one page—on that page; or

                     (b)  if the article or paragraph takes up the whole or part of each of 2 opposing pages—on each page.

Penalty:  5 penalty units.

32  Subsection 124(2)

Omit all the words from and including “paragraphs (1)(a) and (b)” to and including “newspaper” (second occurring), substitute “subsection (1) that takes up the whole or part of each of 2 opposing pages of a journal:

                     (a)  is contained within:

                              (i) a broken or unbroken border; or

                             (ii)  broken or unbroken lines extending across, or partly across, the top and bottom of the article or item; or

                            (iii)  a broken or unbroken line extending along, or partly along, each side of the article or item; or

                     (b)  is printed so that to read one or more lines of the text of the article or item it is necessary to read both pages;

the proprietor of the journal”.

33  At the end of section 124


             (3)  In this section:

journal means a newspaper, magazine or other periodical, whether published for sale or for distribution without charge.

34  Subsection 125(1)

Omit “the author’s name and address, or the authors’ names and addresses, as the case may be, are”, substitute “each author’s name and address is”.

35  At the end of subsection 125(2)


               ; or (c)  a letter to the editor if each author’s name and the suburb or locality where the author lives are set out at the end of the letter.

Example 1:      If the author lives in the Adelaide suburb of Maylands—“Maylands” must be set out at the end of a letter.

Example 2:      If the author lives in the country town of Kingston in South Australia—“Kingston” must be set out at the end of a letter.

Example 3:      If the author lives on a rural property in the Blackford area in South Australia—“Blackford” must be set out at the end of a letter .

36  At the end of paragraphs 130(1)(a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f) and (g)

Add “or”.

37  Paragraph 130(1)(h)

Repeal the paragraph.

38  After subsection 130(1)


          (1A) A person is guilty of an offence if the person votes more than once in the same election.

Penalty:  10 penalty units.

          (1B)  An offence against subsection (1A) is an offence of strict liability.

39  Section 137

Repeal the section.

40  Section 142

Repeal the section.

41  Subsection 142A(1)

Omit “has the same meaning as in section 142.”, substitute:


                     (a)  ballot-papers; and

                     (b)  certified lists of voters; and

                     (c)  certified copies of the Roll; and

                     (d)  declarations; and

                     (e)  postal vote certificates; and

                      (f)  pre-poll vote certificates; and

                     (g)  lists prepared under section 45.

42  Clause 8 of Schedule 4

Omit “or a provisional vote ballot-paper”, substitute “, a provisional vote ballot-paper”.

43  Subparagraph 10(b) of Schedule 4

Before “11”, insert “10A or”.

44  After paragraph 10 of Schedule 4


10A. This paragraph applies to an envelope if the DRO is satisfied:

                     (a)  that the elector who signed the certificate or declaration on the envelope is not enrolled for the Division; and

                     (b)  after making enquiry:

                              (i)  that the elector was, at the time of voting, entitled to be enrolled for a Subdivision of the Division; and

                             (ii)  that, if the Division had not been divided into Subdivisions, the omission of the elector’s name from the Roll for the Division would have been due to an error made by an officer, or to a mistake of fact.

10B. Subparagraph 10A(b) does not apply if:

                     (a)  more than one election (excluding the election to which the scrutiny relates) has been held since the omission from the Roll; or

                     (b)  where there has been a redistribution of the State or Territory that includes the Division since the last election but one before the election to which the scrutiny relates, the omission from the Roll was made before the last such redistribution.

45  Paragraph 13 of Schedule 4

Omit “paragraph 12”, substitute “paragraphs 10B and 12”.




[ Minister's second reading speech made in

House of Representatives on 3 December 1997

Senate on 30 March 1998 ]