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Wednesday, 30 May 1928

Mr BLAKELEY (Darling) .- I move -

That after the words " overseers ", last occurring, proposed new section 91b, sub-section (1) paragraph (a), the following words be inserted:- - " Engineers and gangers engaged upon rail and road construction, and mail contractors."

Although the provision for authorized witnesses is liberal, it fails to cater for certain conditions which. I shall enumerate. No shires or municipalities operate in the Western Lands Division of New South Wales, the whole of the road construction of that vast area being done by the Public Works Department of New South Wales. Therefore, there are no municipal or shire engineers to witness an application for a postal vote, and the clause makes no provision for road engineers, as apart from municipal or shire engineers. I have in mind a specific case which came under my notice on a piece of road construction taking place between Broken Hill and Wilcannia, on which five men were employed. The men wished to record postal votes, but no authorized witnesses arrived by mail car, and, as I was prohibited from helping the men, I could he of no assistance. Eventually, after a great -deal of difficulty, it was arranged, that one of them should go to Wilcannia, but the votes were lodged too late. I also know of an instance in connexion with the construction of the CondobolinBroken Hill railway where there wereno authorized witnesses. I hope that the Minister will accept my amendment.

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