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Friday, 2 December 1983
Page: 3213

Senator MISSEN(10.31) —If the Attorney-General (Senator Gareth Evans) says that the amendment is wrong, does he not agree-my reading of the report likewise leaves the situation open-that if a person starts to write numbers but then loses interest and writes 5s, for example, in the rest of the squares, under the Government's proposal he has put numbers in not less than 90 per cent of the squares? They are not consequential numbers; they do not indicate a preference. There is confusion both in the report and in the provision. If the Attorney-General is not satisfied that the Opposition amendment picks up the problem entirely, what should be done? Surely what the Attorney-General is proposing to leave in the Bill has a great deal of obscurity. A vote might contain any old numbers. Someone might lose interest and write 5,000 or jumble numbers around with no sequence at all. I have seen ballots like that where people have lost interest. If 90 per cent of squares have numbers in them-any old numbers; not numbers which indicate a preference-is there not in the existing clause a problem which requires a more constructive attitude?