House debates

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Questions without Notice


2:16 pm

Photo of Tanya PlibersekTanya Plibersek (Sydney, Australian Labor Party, Deputy Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

I ask again a question to the Prime Minister. Can the Prime Minister confirm that the Commonwealth Electoral Act protections against electoral fraud, bribery and intimidation will apply in his $122 million survey?

2:17 pm

Photo of Malcolm TurnbullMalcolm Turnbull (Wentworth, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

The protections that will be in place for the postal plebiscite will include all the protections under the telecommunications legislation, which makes it an offence to tamper with the mail. It will be covered by the protections under the Census and Statistics Act, which makes it an offence to provide false or misleading statements. And, of course, the Criminal Code itself contains multiple offences which would prohibit a person from interfering with the collection of statistics, including making it an offence to obstruct, hinder, intimidate or resist a Commonwealth official in the performance of their functions. So there are protections contained in that legislation.

But it's pretty straightforward for the opposition to reflect on this. If they wanted to have a compulsory attendance ballot with all of the protections of the Electoral Act, they should have voted for it. They made the decision to frustrate the will of the people expressed at the election, and we are fulfilling it with this postal vote.