Cast­ing a wide net for votes

Wanneroo Times - - News -

THE abil­ity to cast coun­cil elec­tion votes on­line will be dis­cussed as part of a re­view of the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Act, Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter David Tem­ple­man says.

The State Gov­ern­ment be­gan a re­view of what it called WA's “out­dated” Act in June.

With just 27.5 per cent of el­i­gi­ble West Aus­tralians us­ing their right to vote in the 2015 lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions, ways to im­prove voter turnout will be ex­plored.

Mr Tem­ple­man said al­low­ing peo­ple to vote on­line would be con­sid­ered un­der the sec­ond phase of the re­view next year.

“Ex­am­in­ing ways to in­crease par­tic­i­pa­tion and public con­fi­dence in lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions will be con­sid­ered in this phase,” he said.

“Some of the op­tions that will be ex­plored to ad­dress this in­clude on­line vot­ing and who should con­duct elec­tions.

“On av­er­age fewer than one-third of peo­ple who are el­i­gi­ble cast a vote in lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions.

“I want to ex­plore op­tions that will in­crease demo­cratic par­tic­i­pa­tion.”

A dis­cus­sion pa­per for phase two is planned for re­lease in the mid­dle of 2018.

It is ex­pected to be com­pleted in 2019.

In the mean­time, phase one of the re­view is well un­der­way.

The elec­tronic avail­abil­ity of in­for­ma­tion, if coun­cils are meet­ing public ex­pec­ta­tions for ac­count­abil­ity and per­for­mance and red tape are be­ing re­viewed.

A dis­cus­sion pa­per for phase one is planned for re­lease in Novem­ber.

Mr Tem­ple­man said the end re­sult would be coun­cils that were ef­fi­cient and ef­fec­tive.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son­mu­ni­ d466863

Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter David Tem­ple­man.

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