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Monday, 11 December 1905

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable member for Kalgoorlie has, I think, to some extent misapprehended the provisions of the measure. The' honorable member speaks as though it were proposed to continue the present Act, with all its provisions, in force. It is quite true that persons objected to seldom attend, for the reason that they lose a day's work, or from some other cause ; but it is proposed that the returning officer or the electoral registrar shall communicate with the person against whom objections are lodged. There is no need for them to appear in person, because a letter may be written substantiating the claim. That is an amendment of the Act proposed in order to get rid of the Revision Courts, which have become useless institutions.

Mr Frazer - How many would attend the Court?

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - There is no need to attend; a person objected to may communicate in any way, so long as he satisfies the officer that he has a good claim to be on the roll. If the officer is of opinion that there is sufficient reason to retain the name, the objector can take further action only by appealing to a Court of summary jurisdiction, or to a specially called Revision Court. Under the Bill Revision Courts will be established only when there are cases to be decided. At the recent Revision Courts, very few people attended.

Mr Groom - At the 377 Revision Courts only fifty alterations were made as a result of objections by the public.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - All the other objections were made by officers. In fact, the Revision Courts were a perfect farce. An officer entered with his papers, and the magistrate inquired whether the list presented was a correct list of the persons entitled to vote. To this the officer replied that the list was correct, and the magistrate then inquired whether there were any objections. There being nobody in the court, no objections by the public were raised, and the proceedings were over in two minutes.

Mr Frazer -Do the figures quoted not demonstrate the wisdom of fixing the sum at 5s. ?

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - They demonstratethewisdom of retaining the clause ; but the amount of 5s. is too high.

Mr Page - Why?

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