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Thursday, 6 December 1973
Page: 4368

Mr RIORDAN (PHILLIP, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Postmaster-General. During the recent New South Wales State elections, in the electoral district of Coogee a number of citizens who applied for postal ballot papers did not receive them, despite the assurance by electoral officials that they were posted. As there is a strong possibilty that certain ballot papers have been either lost or stolen in the post, will the Postmaster-General institute an immediate inquiry into this matter in order to ascertain whether the ballot papers were ever posted and/or whether there was any interference with the mail in order to deprive electors from exercising their right to vote in what is a very close election?

Mr Lionel Bowen (KINGSFORD-SMITH, NEW SOUTH WALES) This is my first knowledge of this matter. I noticed in the course of the recent New South Wales State elections that there was some reference in other electorates to the fact that the applications had not been received in time, even though they allegedly had been posted some 5 or 6 days before, and there was a further suggestion that in many cases it was too late to send out the voting papers. Coogee is a very important electorate because the balance is so fine. I promise the honourable member, as a matter of urgency that I will have an investigation commenced this day, and I will report further to him and the House.

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