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Friday, 20 October 1905

Senator PULSFORD (New South Wales) - I should say that Senator Keating has understated the case. Speaking from a long metropolitan experience,I consider that the number of removals is understated at 33 per cent. In view of the fact that tens of thousands of persons are continually changing their lodgings, and that tens of thousands of female servants are continually moving from place to place, honorable senators will see that if it be decided to keep pace with all the changes we shall run the Commonwealth into an expenditure which I am quite certain is seriously understated at £5,000 a year.

Senator GUTHRIE(South Australia). - I still think that the words ought to. be inserted. Senator Keating has stated that the returning officer has the power to make certain alterations in the roll. Why should not the public know what alterations have been made?

Senator Millen - They would know on reference to the roll.

Senator GUTHRIE - The roll may be published "as the Minister may direct."' but what is it that the Minister may direct ? That a roll shall be prepared once in three years. The general roll is prepared in anticipation of a general election. But the general election may not take place till twelve months afterwards. A supplemental roll is prepared for the purpose of correcting errors in the general roll. Why should not that supplemental roll absolutely show the number of persons in each subdivision ? The Minister has stated that 'the departmental estimate of the cost of what I desire is £5,000 a year. I do not think there is any need to issue a supplemental roll every year, but there is an. absolute need to have a supplemental roll which will be as perfect as possible just prior to a general election, which in ordinary circumstances would take place only once in three years. In every subdivision throughout the Commonwealth the people ought to know absolutely who has the right to vote, and who is on the roll. That is all that I ask. Without the words " or alterations," that would not be known.

Senator Millen - The alterations would be on the main. roll.

Senator GUTHRIE - Take the present position. The general roll for; South Australia was delivered at my house last week. Say that a general election does not occur until December, next year. The people in each subdivision will want to know what alterations and additions have been made to the roll since September of this year. Therefore, a supplemental roll should be published just before the general election. Any person transferred from Victoria to South Australia between September of this year, and December of next year, ought to be included in that supplemental roll. I do not believe that 33 per cent. of the population transfer every three years. I suppose that the largest movement of the population we have had in recent years has been to Western Australia. I do not believe, however, that 5 per cent. of the population of the other States have gone to the West. The estimate is ridiculous on the face of it.

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