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Tuesday, 19 August 1980
Page: 408

Dr Klugman asked the Minister for Administrative Services, upon notice, on 27 March 1 980:

(1)   Are men working at Australian bases in the Antarctic denied a vote in any Australian elections.

(2)   If the position is as stated, has his Department considered any proposals to enable these Australians to practise this basic right; if so, what are the proposals.

Mr John McLeay (BOOTHBY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   So far as Commonwealth elections are concerned, the general isolation of the Australian Antarctic research stations makes it practically impossible for electors working there to vote. The physical inaccessibility of these stations would prevent eligible electors located there obtaining from, and returning to, the Returning Officers of their electoral Divisions the requisite postal vote documentation within the statutory time limits.

(2)   This matter is being examined, in the overall context of similar problems, by the Australian Electoral Office. I shall consider the recommendations I might make to the Government regarding Australians stationed in Antarctica after the completion of this review.

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