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Wednesday, 18 June 1902

Mr DEAKIN (BALLAARAT, VICTORIA) (Attorney-General) - I am informed that it is not considered likely that the work to be performed by these officers will occupy the whole of their time throughout the year. The intention is to appoint, as a rule, either an officer in a Commonwealth department, or one of the State electoral officers, to undertake the work. He will be engaged upon it onlyduringthat portion of theyear in which the revision of the rolls and other matters' concerning them require to be considered, though of course, in the year in which an election takes place, there will be more work for him to do. However, before the Bill gets out of committee, the Minister for Home Affairs will probably be able to inform honorable gentlemen as to his exact intentions in this matter.

Mr. POYNTON(South Australia).- It seems to me that it is necessary to have for the performance of this work an officer who has had experience in connexion with it. We cannot expect an officer of the Works department, for instance, to perform it satisfactorily. I wish to know definitely if the Government intend to avail themselves of the services of State officials, or to create duplication by appointing Commonwealth officials to do the work ?

Mr Deakin - Duplication will be avoided wherever possible, and, in the first instance, it should be possible to avoid it in nearly every case.

Mr POYNTON - Does that statement apply both to the officers under discussion and to the assistant returning officers?

Mr Deakin - Yes.

Mr POYNTON - In South Australia £5,000 is sufficient to pay for the conduct of an election, and it will be possible to get the work done more cheaply and more satisfactorily with a staff which hasalreadv every detail at its fingers' ends, than by creating a new staff. I hope that the services of State officers will be used.

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