No preference deals in council elections

Article image - No preference deals in council elections LGAQ President, Mark Jamieson

The Queensland Government will introduce Compulsory Preferential Voting (CPV) for Mayoral and divisional councillor elections, starting from the 2020 Local Government election.

Minister for Local Government, Stirling Hinchliffe, announced the reform was informed by the CCC’s Operation Belcarra report and aimed to increase transparency and accountability in Local Government.

He said the change would align Local Government voting methodologies with State and Federal elections and avoid voter confusion.

Local Government Association of Queensland President and Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said the unseemly negotiations and power plays between political parties over preference deals provide more than enough evidence that compulsory preferential voting should not be introduced into local government elections.

Mayor Jamieson said it was crucial that local communities realised that the spectacle of preference deals – secret or otherwise – which is currently being played out federally would infect their council elections if compulsory preferential voting was imposed on local government.

“Do communities really want politicians and parties from outside their local area doing deals and calling the shots on preferences in local council elections?

“That is what awaits local communities across Queensland if the Palaszczuk Government succeeds in forcing compulsory preferential voting on Queensland councils.

“People should retain the right to vote or not to vote for whichever candidate they choose.

“CPV merely shifts political power from the voters to the parties. It provides a platform to manipulate electoral outcomes and has no place in local council elections.”