Tasmanian Labor supports the potential introduction of compulsory voting in local government elections and has been advocating for the move for many years.
However new Minister Nic Street should have consulted with the community and sector before announcing this change.
The Labor Party’s submission to the Review of Tasmania’s Local Government Legislative Framework made it clear that it is one of the best ways to ensure the majority of Tasmanians are able to have their say in their community and in electing their local council.
Despite the fact that the last local government election saw stronger turnout across various councils across the state, Tasmanian Labor believes more needs to be done to ensure greater participation and elevate the importance of local government across our communities.
At the same time Mr Street will move to legislate for compulsory voting, fundamental and widespread change is still needed to support councils into the future.
Tasmanians are still waiting for the outcome of the full review of the Local Government Act commenced in 2019, they need certainty on the government’ s position on charitable rates remission policy and when the sector has called for more support in the past this government has had a hands off approach.
Minister Street needs to also act swiftly to complete the review of the Local Government Code of Conduct and address cultural issues across the sector before more people leave or refuse to put up their hand to stand for council or work in local government across Tasmania.
Anita Dow MP
Shadow Local Government Minister