Major voting changes proposed

The Queensland Government is reported to have plans to introduce compulsory preferential voting at local government elections.

Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) President, Mayor Mark Jamieson, said councils deserved to be thoroughly consulted about such a major change.

“Local councils are keen to work with the Government on reform, but we will not put up with major changes like this being forced on the sector when there is no robust evidence base to support the changes that the Palaszczuk government is now proposing.”

Mayor Jamieson said neither the Crime and Corruption Commission’s report on its Belcarra investigation nor the Soorley review into the conduct of the last local government elections had recommended compulsory preferential voting in local council elections.

“The LGAQ can only assume this is being driven by the Premier and her Minister for Local Government for political reasons, given there is no compelling case for a change that will do nothing to strengthen the integrity, transparency and sustainability of councils – matters which are supposed to be the government’s priorities for the local government system”.  

“The Palaszczuk government needs to be far more transparent with fundamental changes to the local government electoral system if it is to have any credibility around its motives,” Mayor Jamieson said.