Postal vote to free up man­power

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - Times News - Tari Jef­fers

MAN­JIMUP Shire Coun­cil’s de­ci­sion to hold a postal vote for this year’s Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment elec­tions means more time and man­power can be spent on vi­tal projects in the re­gion, ac­cord­ing to the Man­jimup shire pres­i­dent.

Paul Omodei said he sup­ported the coun­cil’s “good” de­ci­sion to hold a postal vote, as it usu­ally re­sulted in a big­ger voter turnout. A re­port in last week’s Man­jimup-Bridgetown Times that in-per­son vot­ing would con­tinue was in­cor­rect.

Cr Omodei said al­though he ac­knowl­edged the in­creased cost of postal vot­ing, he said the shire would be “more than com­pen­sated” fol­low­ing the com­ple­tion of the var­i­ous Town Cen­tre Re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion projects shire staff were work- ing hard on, which utilise Roy­al­ties for Re­gions fund­ing for the bet­ter­ment of the re­gion.

In-per­son vot­ing for six coun­cil seats across five wards and five polling lo­ca­tions was ex­pected to cost a max­i­mum of $20,300, whereas postal vot­ing would cost an es­ti­mated $33,278 through the Western Aus­tralian Elec­toral Com­mis­sion.

Cr Omodei said the re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion project was to be rolled out over three years and, in ad­di­tion to the change of gov­ern­ment at a State level, shire staff were work­ing hard.

“We want to be a re­gional cen­tre, rather and a sub-cen­tre, which will gen­er­ate in­ter­est in the re­gion but it takes work,” he said.

“An op­por­tu­nity like this might not hap­pen again, so we have to do it right and pri­ori­tise ac­cord­ingly.”

Postal vot­ing, ac­cord­ing to Cr Omodei, had the ad­di­tional ben­e­fit of be­ing eas­ier for se­niors, peo­ple liv­ing with dis­abil­i­ties or peo­ple who live in re­mote ar­eas.

He also said postal vot­ing had the ben­e­fit of be­ing run re­motely and in­de­pen­dently of the Man­jimup Shire Coun­cil.

“Whether it’s postal or in-per­son vot­ing, if there are is­sues in a town, there is usu­ally a big­ger voter turnout,” Cr Omodei said.

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