President's comment

In each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association president. The following is from Alderman Kerry Moir, President of the Local Government Association of Northern Territory (LGANT).

2012 will be the year of elections in the Northern Territory with both the Statehood Convention and Local Government elections being held on 24 March 2012 and Northern Territory government elections in August 2012. All three elections are obviously significant for the people of the Northern Territory.

The Statehood Convention will elect four delegates for each of the 25 Northern Territory Parliament seats with 25 of those members being 'proxies'.

The job of the delegates is, along with an expert panel, to develop a draft constitution for the Northern Territory.

The Local Government elections will see 153 members elected for 15 councils. One council, Belyuen, is under administration, and is unlikely to have an election.

Furthermore, the Territory Government is considering changing the electoral system for councils which could see the proportional representation system of election in place of the current 'exhaustive' preferential system.

Regulations would have to be changed before Christmas 2011 for this to happen.

The NT Government has received advice from three expert sources recommending the change and, as with anything of this nature, will no doubt bring about a change in electoral representation.

Having both the Local Government and Statehood Convention elections on at the same time does add complexity to the electoral process although a similar precedent is the Federal election, where electors vote for representatives in both houses of Parliament with their different electoral processes.

Some Local Government representatives however, are concerned about their prospects of being elected not only to council but also to the Statehood Convention. While confident about their chances for election to council they remain cautious about their chances of people voting for them again for the Statehood Convention.

The Territory Government election includes the current make up of the 25 member Parliament. At present the composition of members in the parliament includes 11 Country Liberal Party, 12 Labor and two Independents. In other words, a minority government is in place.

With a number of parliamentarians retiring it will be interesting, as always, to witness the outcomes of this election.