The Tasmanian Greens today (APR 14) tabled in Parliament their Constitution Amendment (Membership of State Parliament) Bill 2011 which seeks to prevent Members of the State Parliament from holding Local Council seats concurrently.

Greens Attorney-General and Justice spokesperson Kim Booth MP said for nearly a decade the Greens have pursued this reform to ensure that voters receive full value from their elected representatives across all tiers of government.

Mr Booth also pointed to recent statements by Attorney-General, David Bartlett, that he personally does not believe that one person can do justice to the electorate when trying to hold down to elected positions.

“Although the State’s Constitution Act stipulates that someone cannot sit in both the Federal or State Parliaments concurrently, a similar restriction does not apply to holding both State Parliament and Local Council seats,” Mr Booth said.

“Our reform Bill will seek to mirror the provisions which make it illegal to hold seats in both the Federal and State Parliaments, and extend that principle to include Local Government.”

“Currently there is one Member of the House of Assembly who has retained his local council seat, and there are three Members of the Legislative Council who are also local councillors. This number could increase in the upcoming May Legislative Council elections.”

“Reform like this is important so Tasmanian voters get real value for their vote, and their taxpayer funds, and our Bill will get the public debate underway,” Mr Booth said.

Download: Apr14_FactSheet_Constitution_Amend_Bill_2011_K_Booth_ATTACH.pdf

*Picture: of Mark Shelton, Liberal Member for Lyons and Meander Valley Council Mayor

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