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Wednesday, 27 February 1985
Page: 331

Mr LAMB(6.50) —I want to make a few comments following the comments made by the honourable member for Boothby (Mr Steele Hall). I do not share his disappointment in the larger Parliament; I certainly welcome it. In fact, my presence in this Parliament is due to the increase in numbers and the creation of the electorate of Streeton.

I want to comment very briefly on the high informal vote that was recorded at the recent election. No doubt it is something that the Joint Select Committee on Electoral Reform will have to look at. The high informal vote in my own electorate of Streeton, and the electorate of Casey, robbed me of an absolute majority, something which I have never faced before. That disappointed me. More importantly, the former member for Casey, Mr Pete Steedman, was robbed of that seat by the informal vote. The reason he is not present in this chamber is not that he was rejected by the people of Casey, but that he did not receive the intended vote from those who wished to see him returned to this place. Unless an electoral system genuinely reflects the will of the electorate, there are faults in it. Those faults must be redressed by this Committee. With an informal vote approaching 10 per cent-in my own electorate it was 7.9 or 8 per cent, which is well above the long term average of 2 1/2 per cent-something is surely wrong with the system and must be redressed. Another point I hope the Committee will look at is the matter of mobile booths, which I do not think were used extensively enough. Being a potential member of this Committee, I will raise this matter in full. I wanted to mention these matters as an indication of what should arise.