Cr votes no to ‘preferential’
MANDATORY proportional preferential voting in local government elections could jeopardise the unity of the council, according to Lockyer Valley councillor Michael Hagan.
The way the local government election process takes place is among a number of proposed changes made by the Queensland Government.
It has proposed to introduce compulsory preferential voting for mayors and divided councils and proportional preferential voting for undivided councils such as the Lockyer Valley and Somerset.
Cr Hagan believes this will be a mistake as it’s the same system used for voting for the Senate.
“The State Government has put forward some changes they claim follow the Belcarra report on local government to make government more accountable and transparent,” he said.
“But some of these changes aren’t reflective of the report.”
Cr Hagan said the proposal to change to preferential voting wasn’t mentioned in the recommendations in the Crime and Corruption Commission’s report.
He believed the State Government intended to introduce the changes to Parliament by May.
“It doesn’t give time for the local governments association to have much consultation with the local members and no time for the general public to even know what they’re proposing,” he said.
He said the introduction of proportional preferential voting would change the way local government operated.
“At the moment, our council is cohesive and working together,” he said.
“We’re six people elected by the community who have come together to form one unit.
“If you open this up, all of a sudden it starts to create divisions between people, like who’s going to give preference to who.”
He said it could encourage alliances, including political ones in the community.
“You could end up getting voting blocks and things like that, which never goes down well,” he said.
Member for Lockyer and former councillor Jim Mcdonald said he did not support the changes.
“Instead of fixing our hospitals, fixing our infrastructure or busting congestion, (Labor is) more focused on manipulating electoral outcomes,” he said.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk is out of touch and I call on her to scrap the proposal.”
He said the key to making a good decision in community was simple.
“You bring people on the journey,” he said.
“You ask people what they think. This sort of thing is just arrogant.”
You could end up getting voting blocks
— Cr Hagan