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Tuesday, 31 October 1905

Senator KEATING (Tasmania) (Honorary Minister) . - For the reasons I gave on a previous occasion, I hope that the Committee will not accept this amendment. It amounts to a surrender by the Senate, as well as the other House, of a responsibility and right which I think should not be abandoned. Senator Millen has said that under the Act the public have not a means of making certain representations which Senator Trenwith said they would be deprived of, but I would point out that they now have that opportunity. Apart altogether from their right to communicate with the Commissioner, they have the opportunity of communicating with their representatives in Parliament, and pointing out to them reasons why they should not consent to the division of the State as proposed.

Senator Millen - Was it the public or the politicians who objected to the previous redistribution ?

Senator KEATING - I am not dealing with that matter, but pointing out that under the present Act the public have two methods of expressing their views.-. Under the scheme of Senator Millen, however, the Parliament would have no opportunity of checking a scheme of distribution. It would be absolutely powerless either to approve or to disapprove of a proposed division, which would become operative. I do not think that it is right that the Parliament should surrender its supervising function. We should be offered weightier reasons than we have heard before we depart from the present principle. I do not think that as regards this Senate one tittle of evidence has been advanced to influence the Committee to support the amendment.

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