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Tuesday, 14 October 1975
Page: 2084

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) -The honourable member for Gwydir (Mr Hunt) suggested that I would not understand the problem that farmers would face if the polling booths were to close at 6 p.m. My view is that the Australian farming community should recognise that the right to vote is a very important one and that they should express a preparedness to stop work for a few minutes during the day to go to their local polling booth or, alternatively, to take out a postal vote.

It is not fair to expect the people who work for the Australian Electoral Office to keep going all night. Also it is not fair to those people from all political parties, who voluntarily give of their time, to expect them to man polling booths from 8 o'clock in the morning until 8 o'clock at night. In other words, I personally am opposed to my own Party's viewpoint on this subject- I am not afraid to have my opinion registered. I would hope that one day common sense will prevail on this side of the House, and on the other side of the House when we are back in office. Finally, I am convinced that the majority of members of my Party and the coalition National Country Party of Australia share my views, but as we have never taken a vote on the subject we do not really know how we stand.

Question put:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

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