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Parliamentary Questions

Question On Notice No. 57 asked in the Legislative Council on 14 June 2017 by Hon Jacqui Boydell

Question Directed to the: Minister for Regional Development representing the Minister for Electoral Affairs
Minister responding: Hon W.J. Johnston
Parliament: 40 Session: 1
Question


(1) Is the Minister aware of an 18 percent increase in registered voters in the Pilbara for the period 30 June 2016 to 30 September 2016?

(2) Is the Minister aware that enrolments decreased for three of the five quarters preceding this period?
(3) How many voters registered in that period were as a result of changes to the Electoral Act 1907 allowing direct enrolment?
(4) How many of the voters registered in that period were new enrolments?
Answered on 16 August 2017

Prior to answering the question, I indicate that I would be happy to arrange a briefing for the Member from the WA Electoral Commission on enrolment procedures because it is clear that her question shows a great deal of confusion about the Electoral Act 1907.

(1) As was explained by the Hon Peter Collier MLC on 17 March 2016 during the Second Reading of the Electoral Amendment Bill 2016, there were 170,000 citizens living in Western Australia who were included in the Electoral Roll maintained by the Australian Electoral Commission, who were not included on the Electoral Roll maintained by the Western Australian Electoral Commission (WAEC). As explained by the Hon Peter Collier MLC on that day, it was expected that there would be an additional 50,000 citizens in this position by 11 March 2017 if the Bill was not supported. As the Member is aware (as her name is recorded in Hansard as having voted in respect to proposed amendments to the Bill) the Bill was given Third Reading by the Legislative Council on 7 April 2016. For the information of the Member, the Bill was granted Royal Assent on 11 July 2016.

This Bill ensured those citizens who were already included on the Electoral Roll maintained by the Australian Electoral Commission could be included on the Electoral Roll maintained by the WAEC. I am sure it will please the Member that this was done, and citizens of our nation were permitted to vote in our General Election on 11 March 2017.

If the Member is referring to these citizens in her question, then I can confirm that the Western Australian Electoral Commissioner, the best of my knowledge, has included those eligible citizens on the Electoral Roll for the State Electoral District of the Pilbara.

Further, I can inform the Member that I am not aware of any person raising objection to the inclusion of the name of any person on the Electoral Roll for the State Electoral District of the Pilbara, either before I was appointed as Minister or subsequently.

(2) I am aware that prior to the passage of the Electoral Amendment Act 2016 that there were many citizens who were included onto the Electoral Roll maintained by the Australian Electoral Commission who were not being included on to the Electoral Roll maintained by the WAEC.

However, I have no direct knowledge of enrolment numbers for the State Electoral District of Pilbara for the specific period. Notwithstanding this, the WAEC advises that there was a decline in the number of citizens as specified by the Member.

(3) The WA Electoral Commissioner advises that he was advised by the Australian Electoral Commission that there were 3055 citizens included on the Western Australian Electoral Roll as a result of the direct enrolment process established by the Electoral Amendment Act 2016 - which was given Third Reading by the Legislative Council on 7 April 2016 without decent.

(4) Overall there was a net increase of 164 voters as a result of forms lodged by electors themselves.