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Monday, 1 October 1906

Senator KEATING (Tasmania) (Honorary Minister) . - In clause 4, we provide that -

The provisions of Part X (Voting by Post), Part XI. (the Polling) .... of the Commonwealth Electoral Acts 1902-1905 shall, so far as applicable, apply to the referendum.

In view of this provision, an elector who was living at a certain distance from his polling place would be able to vote by post. Section 109 of the Electoral Act provides that -

Any elector -

(a)   who has reason to believe that he will on polling day be more than five miles from the polling place for which he is enrolled . . . may apply for a postal vote certificate.

Senator Stewart - That will not be sufficient.

Senator Staniforth Smith - Why not afford the same facilities as are given in connexion with voting at elections for the Senate? I refer to the issue of absentee voters' certificates.

Senator KEATING - Under clause 4, the voting by post and polling provisions of the present Electoral Acts will apply to these referenda.

Senator Stewart - Is that sufficient?

Senator KEATING - If the honorable senator will point out the particular provision of the existing Electoral law which he wishes to incorporate in the Bill, I shall be glad to consider the matter.

Senator PEARCE(Western Australia) . he does not think it desirable to insert after the word " once " the words " on each proposed law."

Senator Keating - The word "once" applies to the word " referendum," the definition of which makes the meaning clear.

Senator Drake - I suggest that the word "any" be substituted for the word "the."

Senator Keating - I have no objection.

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