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Thursday, 10 November 1983
Page: 2620

Dr KLUGMAN(6.08) —I will give an explanation of the reasons for the Government's proposal. Numerous submissions in favour of it were made to the Joint Select Committee on Electoral Reform. The late father of the honourable member for Dundas (Mr Ruddock) was a prominent Minister in the New South Wales Government which introduced the change to 6 p.m. poll closing.

Mr Ruddock —Are you saying that my father's view should bind me?

Dr KLUGMAN —No. All I am saying is that a Liberal-Country Party Government introduced it in New South Wales; a National-Liberal Party Government introduced it in Queensland; and a Liberal Government introduced it in Victoria. I have not checked what happened in South Australia and Western Australia. Again, I do not think it is a terribly important issue. The Committee was asked to look at the various submissions and found more people in favour of the proposal than were against it; nobody objected to it. We asked whether there had been any significant increase in pre-poll or postal votes in areas where we knew there were high concentrations of people of certain religious faiths. Such a result did not appear so we accepted the proposition that the hour of closing should be 6 p.m.