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Liberals introduce Bill to reform local government voting

Jun 05, 2014
Steven Griffiths MP
Shadow Minister for Regional Development
Liberals introduce Bill to reform local government voting
The State Liberals will today introduce a Bill in Parliament to amend local government electoral laws to reinstate automatic re-enrolment for all eligible South Australian businesses and property owners.
Shadow Minister for Local Government Steven Griffiths said the initiative to reinstate automatic re-enrolment would make it easier for all South Australians to exercise their democratic right to vote.
“I believe the move will increase voting participation at local government elections – a vital step in enhancing community engagement in local decision making,” said Mr Griffiths.
In 2009 the Weatherill Labor Government introduced changes to legislation meaning property franchisee voters have to re-register prior to every local government election to be able to vote. 
As a result, councils reported significant reductions in enrolments, poor electoral turnout and the creation of an unnecessary administrative burden.
At the 2010 local government elections, the City of Prospect had less than a one percent response rate of voters re-enrolling, highlighting the impact of the Labor Government’s changes.
“Following consultation with councils and the Local Government Association of South Australia on the proposed amendment, there has been overwhelming support to reinstate automatic re-enrolment,” said Mr Griffiths.
“Local Government Minister Geoff Brock must now tell South Australians whether or not he will support this Bill.”
The LGA has previously lobbied the State Government to restore automatic re-enrolment for property franchisees who contribute a high proportion of council revenues.
Due to the timing of the local government elections in November and enrolments closing on 8 August, it is likely that, if passed, amendments will come into effect from 1 January 2015.



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