Queensland walks back planned electoral changes

The Queensland Government has announced it will not proceed with some of its planned changes to the local government electoral system in the state following extensive pushback from the local government sector.

Among the changes that have been side-lined were Government’s proposal to introduce compulsory preferential voting (CPV) for the next Local Government election, a move the Local Government Association of Queensland CEO Greg Hallam had described as “being forced down the throats of the community and councils in a very rushed and unseemly manner” and was “being driven by crude political self-interest”.

The LGAQ has stated it has concerns that introducing CPV will lead to higher numbers of informal votes; the complexity and length of the count; and voters being required to express “preferences” for candidates they dislike.

Mr Hallam welcomed the decision not to proceed with the changes, which will ow only see compulsory preferential voting applyto elections of mayors and divided councils.

“While the Government remains committed to certain changes that will impact the conduct of next year’s local government elections, the scope of these plans has shrunk,” Mr Hallam said.

“The Government has also agreed that plans for campaign spending caps and public funding of election campaigns need further consultation,” Mr Hallam said.

“The proposal to dual candidacy for the positions of mayor and councillor has been dropped.”

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