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Friday, 11 October 1985
Page: 1107

(Question No. 121)

Senator Colston asked the Minister representing the Special Minister of State, upon notice, on 22 March 1985:

Were pencils which were manufactured overseas used by the Australian Electoral Commission in polling booths for the 1984 Federal election; if so, what proportion of pencils so used were manufactured overseas and why were Australian-made pencils not used.

Senator Gareth Evans —The Special Minister of State has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The Electoral Commissioner has advised that pencils and other stationery items used in polling places are purchased in the form of Polling Booth Packs through a national contract let by the Australian Government Publishing Service (AGPS).

All pencils in the 1984 Polling Booth Packs were of overseas manufacture. At the time of procurement of the Polling Booth Packs for the election, however, the contracting authority (AGPS) was under the impression that because an Australian company had been nominated as the subcontractor for the supply of pencils these would be of Australian manufacture.