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Thursday, 1 December 1983
Page: 3172

Senator HARRADINE(7.27) —I wish to mention briefly a matter that may not have been given due consideration by the Joint Select Committee on Electoral Reform or by this Committee. It is that whereas, when 8 o'clock closing was introduced, there was not the extent of commercial activity on Saturdays that there is currently. The argument has always been that shift workers would have shifts which finished at times which would be convenient for them to register a vote at the appropriate polling place in their subdivision. Now, with the unfortunate extension of Saturday afternoon trading, particularly in New South Wales where it appears that all-day Saturday trading will be in vogue, we will have thousands of workers on that day in shops, at the counters, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. If we have, as we do in Sydney, a lot of city workers travelling considerable distances, for up to an hour and a half, to and from work, such people will not be able to register a vote in the subdivision. I wonder whether the Committee has considered that or whether, if this particular proposal goes through, the Joint Select Committee will keep its eye on that aspect.