• Local Government is closest level to the people and should reflect their views
• Voter turnout in some areas below 50 per cent
• More needs to be done to increase engagement and voter turnout
With votes being counted in two days and returns state-wide hovering around 50 per cent, Shadow Local Government Minister David O’Byrne said it was time for serious consideration of compulsory voting.
“Voting in local government elections should be compulsory – just as in state elections – in the interests of fairness and inclusion,” Mr O’Byrne said.
“Voter turnout in Clarence, Launceston, West Tamar and Brighton is less than 50 per cent and places like Hobart and Central Coast are only just above.
“It’s important that all residents have their say so councils reflect their community’s views.
“Local Government is the level of government closest to the people – it provides the basic services that Tasmanians regularly use and enjoy.
“Local Government elections should be elevated to compulsory status just like state and federal elections, in recognition of the value Local Government provides to its communities.
“Labor calls on the Government to seriously consider compulsory voting alongside other measures to boost engagement and voter turnout as part of its Local Government Legislation review.”