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Save Our Sydney Suburbs (NSW) Inc.
News Release September 2002
Registration of Save Our Suburbs - final victory
The last remaining major obstacle in the saga of Save Our Suburbs participating in the forthcoming State Election has been overcome. Today's press releases tell the story.
Save Our Suburbs (SOS) NSW Inc
Here follows the wording of the press release issued by the Special Minister of State, the Hon John Della Bosca, followed by a press release subsequently issued by Save Our Suburbs
24 September 2002
NO TABLECLOTH BALLOT PAPER IN 2003
The NSW Government will introduce legislation to amend the Parliamentary Electorates and Elections Act, giving the Electoral Commissioner powers to verify the membership of political parties.
Special Minister of State, John Della Bosca, said the amendment would uphold the intention of the Act, to prevent the community enduring another tablecloth ballot paper.
'Following legal action against the Electoral Commissioner in the Supreme Court, it became clear the NSW Government had to step in to provide certainty and to avoid disruption to the 2003 poll," said Mr Della Bosca.
The Commissioner had established a practice to verify the authenticity of applicants by writing to 300 members requesting they confirm their party membership.
Acting Judge Burchett determined the Commissioner did not have the power to require replies from the sample group before registering the party.
'This amendment will validate the Commissioner's policy and give him express powers to apply tests in the future" Mr Della Bosca said.
To give effect to the Court's ruling in the recent case the legislation will deem the Save Our Suburbs group a 'party' for the purposes of the Act, although it narrowly failed the Commissioner's test.
The legislation would not convey party status on six other groups, which had fallen significantly short of the Electoral Commissioner's tests.
The legislation will be introduced in the current session and will require either cross bench or opposition support to pass the Legislative Council.
Media contact: Andrew Plumley 92303479
MINISTER'S ACTIONS WELCOMED FOR DEMOCRACY IN NSW
The announcement today by the Special Minister of State, Mr John Della Bosca, to take legislative action to remedy an administrative impasse has been welcomed by the Save Our Suburbs (SOS) Political Party.
The decision to properly regulate the State Electoral Commissioner's actions and simultaneously make provision for the registration of SOS was " an outcome indicative of common sense, administrative fairness and reaffirms the basic notions of democracy in NSW" commented Dr Tony Recsei, President of the Party. "It is a fundamental freedom of citizens to fully participate in elections and to vote for a party of their choice" he added.
Whilst the Legislation will need to be passed in the Legislative Council with Opposition and cross bench support, discussions held by SOS with members of the Legislative Council should "see justice prevail and give all members of the House an opportunity to support democracy in NSW" said Dr Recsei.
Members of SOS, after numerous months of uncertainty, will now be able to present themselves to the public of NSW as a bona fide political force with real policy initiatives to address the development concerns of metropolitan and regional voters.
"It is our great pleasure and honour to return to the State Electoral process a fresh and realistic opportunity for voters to make a real difference at the next State Election" added Dr Recsei.
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