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Monday, 26 February 2018
Page: 1840


The SPEAKER (15:11): I present a letter from the Chief Executive and Principal Registrar of the High Court, forwarding, in accordance with section 376 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, a copy of the orders made by the High Court of Australia sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns concerning the reference of the former member for Batman, Mr David Feeney. Copies of the letter and Order have been placed on the table and, with the concurrence of the Speaker, will be recorded in the Votes and Proceedings and incorporated in Hansard

The document read as follows—

23 February 2018

The Hon. Tony Smith MP

Speaker of the House of Representatives

Parliament House

CANBERRA ACT 2600

Dear Mr Speaker

Questions referred to the Court of Disputed Returns pursuant to section 376 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 ( Cth )

Re: Mr David Feeney (C31/2017)

I refer to the questions referred to the Court of Disputed Returns in your letter dated 7 December 2017 and to your letter dated 5 February 2018.

I advise that the High Court of Australia, sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns, today made orders answering each of the questions referred.

In accordance with section 380 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 ( Cth ), I enclose a copy of the orders made by Court.

Yours sincerely Philippa Lynch

IN THE HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA

SITTING AS THE COURT OF DISPUTED RETURNS

CANBERRA REGISTRY No. C31 of 2017

IN THE MATTER OF QUESTIONS REFERRED TO THE COURT OF DISPUTED RETURNS PURSUANT TO SECTION 376 OF THE COMMONWEALTH ELECTORAL ACT 1918 (CTH) CONCERNING THE MEMBER FOR BATMAN, MR DAVID FEENEY

ORDER

JUSTICE: Chief Justice Kiefel

DATE GIVEN: 23 February 2018

INITIATING PROCESS: Reference under s 376 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth)

Appearances: Ms J D Watson, counsel for the Attorney-General of the Commonwealth

No appearance for Mr David Feeney

No appearance for Ms Alexandra Kaur Bhathal

THE COURT ORDERS THAT:

The questions referred to the Court of Disputed Returns by the Speaker of the House of Representatives in his letter dated 7 December 2017 be answered as follows:

Question (a)

Whether, by reason of s 44(i) of the Constitution the place of the Member for Batman (Mr Feeney) has become vacant?

Answer

By reason of s 44(i) of the Constitution, the place of the Member for Batman, Mr David Feeney MP, is vacant.

Question (b)

If the answer to Question (a) is “yes”, by what means and in what manner that vacancy should be filled?

Answer

There should be a by-election for the election of the Member for Batman.

Question (c)

What directions and orders, if any, should the Court make in order to hear and finally dispose of the reference?

Answer

Unnecessary to answer.

Question (d)

What, if any, orders should be made as to the costs of these proceedings?

Answer

Unnecessary to answer.

DATE AUTHENTICATED: 23 February 2018

CAROLINE ROGERS Senior Registrar