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Tuesday, 19 December 1905

Senator STEWART (Queensland) - I wish to understand the effect of the amendment made by another place. Hitherto it has been the custom to establish polling booths all over the State of Queensland, at which electors can vote outside their own divisions. For instance, a man can vote in Brisbane for any division in Queensland. If this amendment is carried, it appears to me that that arrangement will be knocked upon the head.

Senator KEATING(Tasmania- Honorary Minister). - This amendment will not interfere with the present arrangements, but is intended to meet certain classes of cases. Where it may be convenient for a number of electors living on the boundary of an extensive constituency to vote at a polling place in an adjoining constituency, they will be permitted to do so.

Senator Turley - They can do that under the Bill as it stands.

Senator KEATING - But that provision of the Bill did not seem to contemplate the appointment of special polling places. What Senator Stewart has described applies also to Tasmania. One can vote in Launceston or Hobart for any electorate in the State. But this amendment will clearly indicate the class of cases to which I have referred.

Senator MILLEN(New South Wales). - The Minister's answer makes it clear that this amendment is either unnecessary or highly pernicious. First he says that this provision will not interfere with the existing arrangement. The GovernorGeneral already has power to make a polling place for a division in another division a mile away from it, or 500 miles away. But, on the other hand, the insertion of this amendment will limit the Governor-General to the appointment of a polling place outside the boundary of a division. On the well-known principle that where a certain thing is expressed other things are excluded, the amendment ought not to be agreed to. If the Governor-General wished to appoint a polling place in Adelaide to be the polling place for some other part of South Australia, he would not be able to do it, because it might be said that the other division was more than ten miles away. I ask the Committee to reject the amendment.

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