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Thursday, 11 May 1972
Page: 2426

Mr FOSTER (Sturt) - Thanks for leaving me 2 minutes in which to speak. I want to make this point very clearly: Whilst the honourable member referred to section 39a of the Commonwealth Electoral Act in criticising the Bill now before the House for what is not in it, the fact is that in his attempt to make a great show of claiming that we were denying to persons under 21 years of age the right to stand as candidates for election to the Federal Parliament, be did not refer to the fact that under section 39a a serviceman under 21 years of age is not given the right to stand as a candidate for election to the Federal Parliament. But I will not waste any more of my time on that.

Section 39b of the Commonwealth Electoral Act is important in considering this matter, and I would have thought that the young, learned lawyer who preceded me would have referred to it. It has some direct bearing on this matter because it opens up the way. The Commonwealth Electoral Act, as amended in 1961, authorises the enrolment in the Commonwealth electoral rolls, in the appropriate residential divisions, of any person to whom section 41 of the Constitution applies. It is not good enough, as Askin in New South Wales says, that his Government cannot accede to the request to grant a vote to 18-year olds or to introduce any form of legislation in this regard because of section 39b of the Commonwealth Electoral Act.

Mr ACTING SPEAKER -Order! The time allotted for precedence of general business has expired. The honourable member for Sturt will have leave to continue his speech when the debate is resumed. The resumption of the debate will be made an order of the day under general business for the next day of sitting.

Sitting suspended from 12.45 to 2.15 p.m.

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