Thursday, 6 December 2018
Electoral Matters Committee; Report
This report which I'll be speaking on today, Report on the conduct of the 2016 federal election and matters related thereto, is an important document. It's an important document for democracy in this country, and also an important document to learn from the lessons of the 2016 election. It has had an incredible amount of work put into it. I want to start by acknowledging the secretariat of the committee, who have done an outstanding job in pulling together basically a 2½-year body of research. I also want to thank the former chair, Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds; the current chairman, Senator James McGrath; and my colleague and friend the Deputy Chair, the member for Scullin, Mr Giles, for all of his work. It's been a collegiate effort. It's been a team effort with cross-party members and some new members as well to the committee.
The report covers significant matters. There is one in particular that I will be talking about today which has raised a lot of concern already. I am deeply concerned about the government's approach to this matter. For five years the Australian people have put up with the shambles of this government. Today is no different, where we're going from crisis to crisis. But the incompetence and overreach of this government may have peaked in this report that I'm holding today. I'm going to particularly focus on recommendation 12, put forward by government members of the committee, which concluded that voters must present identification to be issued with ordinary prepoll or election-day votes.