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Wednesday, 18 June 1902

Mr KIRWAN (Kalgoorlie) - I shall vote in favour of the amendment of the honorable member for Gippsland. The work to be done does not justify the appointment of eighteen commissioners, each three of whom would no doubt have their secretary, clerk, and surveyor, at a very considerable cost. The work of fixing the districts has been almost done. There are only two States which have not been divided, and in those States that are divided the work would be simply a readjustment of the present boundaries of the electorates. The work of the commissioners would simply mean the inclusion of so many State electorates in the federal division. The existing divisions could be adjusted fairly on the population basis, and the cost of the plan proposed in the Bill need not be incurred if the Ministry undertakes the work. No matter how the division is effected, there will be accusations of political influence. Commissioners will be appointed by the Government, and it might be said that they would be influenced by the interests of the particular party which supported the Government. I do not say that would be so, but that might be the position assumed by those who were dissatisfied with the divisions made.

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