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Thursday, 18 June 1903

Mr CRUICKSHANK (Gwydir) - In dealing with the new electoral divisions which it is proposed to create, I hope that the Minister for Home Affairs will give the residents of outlying districts an opportunity of knowing what position they really occupy. I have recently been in the north-west of my State, where the people, in the absence of maps, do not exactly know in which electorate th ey are. The electorate of Gwydir is connected with the railway system, and the natural course of trade is with the towns along the North- Western Railway line, but some of the important centres of population in the district have been taken from my electorate and included in thatof Broken Hill, a place with which they have no connexion whatever. The people in the Gwydir electorate desire to see maps.

Mr SPEAKER - I would call the attention of the honorable member to the fact that the question before the House is the " delay in the preparation of and incompleteness of the Federal Electoral rolls."

Mr CRUICKSHANK - Unfortunately I was not here when the motion was submitted, and I understood that it permitted a general discussion of the subject. The placing of the names on the rolls in" the outlying districts is of great importance, but I find that a number in my district are omitted. Now that we have the adult franchise it is necessary to have country districts very closely canvassed, or otherwise a great preponderance will be given to the city electorates. In the latter, those who have to collect the names have merely to walk from house to house, and there are certain hours when the complete household may be found at home. In the country districts, however, the collectors have to call at the stations, and possibly be content with a list of the employes and other persons about the place, many of whom are probably there to-day and gone to-morrow. In the country, at election times, great difficulty is caused by the fact that many of the settlers find that they are not on the rolls, and I ask the Minister to give instructions that the police be required make as complete a list as possible.

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