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Tuesday, 14 October 1975
Page: 2066

Mr HUNT (Gwydir) -Before the suspension of the sitting for dinner the Minister for Housing and Construction (Mr Riordan) accused the Opposition of humbug for not supporting this rather complex piece of legislation. He accused us of not trying to facilitate for the Australian people an easier method of voting. I accuse the Government of humbug because since this Government came to power it has successfully eliminated no fewer than 900 polling places around Australia thus making it more difficult for thousands of people to cast their votes. In the electorate of Gwydir, which I represent, no fewer than 24 polling places have been abolished. In South Australia there is the notable case of one polling place being abolished so that now the electors of that small community will have to travel 275 miles to a polling place to cast a vote, then come all that way home. Let us not have this nonsense. This Government is not trying to make it easier for people to vote; that is absolute rubbish.

Mr Collard - Why did not you do something about it when you were the Minister?

Mr HUNT -When I was the Minister for the Interior I did not abolish the polling places to the extent that this Government has abolished polling places. The honourable member for Kalgoorlie knows jolly well that the argument that was put forward by the Minister for Housing and Construction, who is at the table, does not stand up to proper scrutiny and examination. Polling places have been abolished in small community centres throughout Australia. In my electorate in places such as Boolcarro] -

Mr Duthie - They were costing $3 a vote.

Mr HUNT - I mention places such as Cubaroo. You do not like it; that is the truth.

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