The Tasmanian Greens today welcomed a recommendation for compulsory voting in Tasmanian local government elections contained in a key report commissioned by the Southern Tasmanian Councils Authority.

Greens Local Government spokesperson Tim Morris MP said the Independent Review of Structures for Local Governance & Service Delivery in Southern Tasmania was a constructive contribution to the debate over local government reform.

“The Greens will need to consider all 13 recommendations in depth before issuing a detailed response, however we do welcome the recommendation calling on the State Government introduce compulsory voting for local government elections,” Mr Morris said.

“It’s abundantly clear that we need to lift voter participation in local council elections, and the introduction of compulsory voting would be the one of the single most effective measures.”

“Despite local councils being the grassroots tier of our democracy, barely 50 per cent of eligible voters took the opportunity to have their say in this last round of elections.”

“Last month the Greens moved to have the issue of compulsory voting for local council elections examined by a parliamentary committee, and we are hopeful of securing the support of both the Labor and Liberal parties to implement this measure prior to the next round of local government elections in 2013.”

“On the issue of local council amalgamations the Greens are aware that there are a wide range of opinions within the community, which is why it’s important not to pre-empt the outcomes of this community-wide debate.”

“We are keen to ensure there’s no repeat of the previous controversial changes to the structure of local government in Tasmania, which took place without sufficient or appropriate public consultation.”
Tim Morris MP Greens Local Government spokesperson