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Thursday, 4 June 1987
Page: 4078

(Question No. 5463)

Mr Beddall asked the Minister representing the Special Minister of State, upon notice, on 14 May 1987:

(1) What are the guidelines for granting enrolment to those voters who do not wish to have their address shown on the roll under section 104 of the Act.

(2) How does this section apply in Queensland where there is a joint electoral card but a separate electoral roll.

(3) What criteria are the Commonwealth Commission adopting in accepting or rejecting applications in Queensland.

Mr Young —The Special Minister of State has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) The guidelines for granting silent enrolment status to electors on application are laid down in s. 104 (1)-(6) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

An applicant must lodge with the appropriate Divisional Returning Officer (DRO) a request in the approved form that his address be deleted from the roll.

The request must give particulars of the relevant risk and must be verified by statutory declaration by the applicant or some other person.

Where the DRO is satisfied that having the applicant's address shown on the roll places or would place the personal safety of the person or members of the person's family at risk, the applicant's address is removed from the roll.

(2) Applications for silent enrolment in Queensland where a joint claim card exists but separate rolls are maintained are referred to the State Electoral Office in an attempt to reach agreement in regard to the acceptance or rejection of the application.

(3) The criteria adopted by the Electoral Commission in evaluating claims for silent enrolment are as follows:

All applications for silent enrolment must comply with the provisions laid down in s. 104 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act.

The DRO has the authority to evaluate each case and to accept a claim only in those cases where the applicant has a genuine fear of violence and concern for personal safety should the address appear on the roll.

The applicant's occupation alone is insufficient justification for the approval of silent enrolment. Each applicant must provide details of specific threats to personal safety which would result from the publication of the address.

In cases where one member of a family has been granted silent enrolment, other members can apply by stating on their application their relationship with the person who has been approved as a silent elector.

One supporting statutory declaration is acceptable where it covers the necessary separate but concurrent applications from both husband and wife.