Senate debates

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Bills

Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016; In Committee

Photo of Mathias CormannMathias Cormann (WA, Liberal Party, Minister for Finance) Share this | Hansard source

In relation to voting above the line, as is indicated in our bill and as I have explained on several occasions now, the advice to voters will be to vote in the Senate above the line and that you must number at least six boxes in order of your preference 1 to 6. People can, of course, indicate additional preferences. People can indicate more than six preferences. What the savings provision does is ensure that, as long as a voter fills in at least one box with a 1, that vote will still be counted as formal. I think that is a well-understood feature of this reform.

Senator Conroy interjecting—

Given that Senator Conroy is back, I will go back to the submission of the national secretary of the Labor Party, George Wright, which was made on 24 April 2014, at a time when Senator McAllister was the national president—so I suspect she was 100 per cent behind this proposition as well.

Opposition senators interjecting—

You are saying that Senator McAllister did not even read the submission put forward by Mr Wright? Are you saying she was a bad national president? You are saying you think she never read it?

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