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Abetz welcomes Shepherdson recommendation and calls on Beazley to show leadership.

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Media Release SENATOR THE HON. ERIC ABETZ Special Minister of State

Liberal Senator for Tasmania


A03/01 1 May 2001

Abetz Welcomes Shepherdson Recommendation and Calls on Beazley to Show Leadership Special Minister of State, Senator Eric Abetz, today welcomed a key recommendation arising from the Shepherdson Inquiry into Queensland electoral rorts.

"Justice Shepherdson has called for the tightening up of enrolment procedures. Specifically, he has recommended that identification be required of those seeking to enrol. This is common sense, and amounts to the endorsement of a Federal Government initiative," Senator Abetz said.

"Presenting identification at the time of enrolment was one of the provisions of the Electoral And Referendum Amendment Act (No.1) 1999 . Despite Labor’s opposition, the Senate eventually passed this provision. However, Labor is now opposing its implementation by refusing to support the necessary regulations. The Labor states have either deferred consideration of, or indicated that they will oppose, the regulations.

"The presentation of ID by new enrollees would go a long way to cleaning up the electoral roll and narrowing the scope for Labor style rorting. Why then are the Labor states digging in their heels?

"This is a test of Kim Beazley’s leadership. Has he the strength of character to demand that his colleagues, the Labor Premiers, clean up the electoral roll by endorsing the reforms and passing any necessary complementary legislation?

"Mind you, this is the same Kim Beazley who was rolled by the ALP national executive after the last ALP National Conference. The Conference passed a resolution which would have seen the ALP address branch stacking by adopting a national membership database, but the Labor heavies in the various States refused to implement it.

"Kim Beazley has rolled over in the face of rorts that have compromised his party and, more seriously, compromised the integrity of the electoral roll. It’s time he demonstrated some leadership and demanded that the Labor Premiers help clean up the electoral roll," Senator Abetz said.


Media inquiries:  Michael Barrett, 0419 276 490 or (02) 6277 7600