Compulsory vote part of council paper

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Bunbury City council votes on supporting its position on several topics under investigation in the Local Government Act Review.
Camera IconBunbury City council votes on supporting its position on several topics under investigation in the Local Government Act Review. Credit: Graphic / South Western Times

Bunbury City Council will support compulsory voting for local government elections, according to a position paper planned on being submitted to the State Government.

The council will next week vote on supporting its position on several topics under investigation in the Local Government Act Review.

The position paper includes the election process, general electors’ meetings and rate exemptions for charitable organisations, among other topics.

In his report to the council, governance manager Greg Golinski said the position statements had been developed following input from councillors.

The review asks for input on compulsory and online voting along with councillor numbers.

“The city supports compulsory voting being introduced for local government elections,” the council’s submission says.

“The city would support the introduction of online voting ... particularly if compulsory voting is not introduced.

“The current review mechanisms that are in place for varying elected member numbers are appropriate, so the city doesn’t support any change that would standardise elected member numbers based on population.”

Despite Mayor Gary Brennan being a vocal advocate to end legislation for annual general electors’ meetings in the past, the council is expected to include its support for the meetings.

“The requirement to hold a general electors meeting once a year should also be retained, as this allows the community to present motions to council that may not ordinarily be considered,” the submission says.

The council will also use its submissions to reiterate its concern at the apparent cost shift from State to Local Government on rate exempt properties.

Mr Brennan previously told the South Western Times that the loss of income on rate exempt properties was a real concern.

The council will vote on the positions next week, with Mr Golinski saying it may be “unreasonable” to expect unanimous support on each item but councillors could also provide individual submissions.

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