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Thursday, 2 November 1911

Senator LYNCH (Western Australia) . - I think that honorable senators opposite are " barking up the wrong tree." I remind them that the proposed new section does not specifically refer to the refusal of any person to be enrolled, which was the point to which they have directed all their attention. It provides that the regulations - may prescribe penalties not exceeding Two pounds for any contravention of any regulation! made in pursuance of this power.

That does not necessarily imply that the Government will shrink from imposing a penalty upon any person for refusing to be enrolled. The first part of subsection 2 of the proposed new section amply provides that it shall be the duty of the Government to make regulations, and do everything necessary or convenient, for carrying a system of compulsory enrolment into effect.

Senator Millen - But suppose the elector does not do it?

Senator LYNCH - There is an obligation cast upon the Government to do all that may be necessary to see that it is done. There is a power then to impose necessarypenalties, but that may have reference to any form of offence under the Bill, and not merely to a refusal to become enrolled. It may refer, for instance, to a person giving a wrong name, or to a refusal to have his name changed from one roll to another within the proper time.

Senator Millen - It is limited entirely to compulsory enrolment. The general power to make regulations is dealt with in the last section of the existing Act.

Senator LYNCH - Does not the honorable senator see that the first portion of sub-section 2 of the proposed new section imposes upon the Government the obligation of providing regulations to prescribe all that may be necessary to carry the system of compulsory enrolment into effect.

Senator Millen - There is no element of compulsion until we say to electors that, if they do not enroll, they will be punished.

Senator LYNCH - I have already said that the penalties referred to might apply to various offences against the Act, and not necessarily to a refusal to be enrolled.

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