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Monday, 15 October 1973
Page: 2121

Mr McLeay asked the Minister for Services and Property, upon notice:

(1)   How many persons made eligible to vote at Federal elections by the reduction in age requirements have enrolled in each of the States and Territories.

(2)   How many persons on State rolls have (a) applied and (b) not applied for enrolment on Federal rolls.

(3)   In view of the compulsory aspect of the legislation, how many persons (a) have been subject to penalty and (b) are in the process of being penalised.

(4)   What are the fines involved.

(5)   What measures is the Government taking to advise eligible persons that the right to vote is preceded by the right to enrol, and neither is voluntary.

Mr Daly - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:


(2)   (a) and (b) In New South Wales and Victoria where a joint Commonwealth/ State electoral roll is maintained, the same number of persons in the 18-20 years age group (187,131 and 166,254 respectively) have claimed enrolment for both Federal and State purposes.

As separate Commonwealth and State rolls are maintained in both Queensland and Western Australia it is not practicable to make a comparison between the names on these rolls in order to ascertain the information sought.

In South. Australia approximately 18,000 persons aged 18-20 years enrolled for State purposes prior to 21 March 1973 (the date of effect of the lower franchise age for Federal purposes). Of these, approximately 400 are enrolled for House of Assembly purposes only. The remainder (17,600) have either obtained enrolment for both Federal and State purposes or are no longer eligible for enrolment in South Australia.

In Tasmania the number of people enrolled for Federal purposes exceeds those enrolled for State purposes. Enrolment for the 18-20 years age group became effective for Federal purposes on 21 March 1973 and for State purposes in Tasmania on 1 August 1973.

(3)   (a) 864.(b) Nil.

(4)   Penalties are prescribed by Section 42 (4) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act which reads -

A person who is guilty of an offence against this section is punishable upon conviction -

(a)   in the case of a first offence - by a fine of not less than One dollar and not more than Four dollars; or

(b)   in any other case - by a fine of not less than Four dollars and not more than Ten dollars.'

(5)   The Australian Electoral Office has conducted extensive advertising newspaper and radio campaigns in the metropolitan and country areas.

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