Monday 28 May 2018
The government needlessly rushed through changes to local government electoral funding without consulting with councils, resulting in an unfair and undemocratic bill.
New council election expenditure caps are so low they would restrict normal campaign activities. They favour incumbents who already have paraphernalia, and are unfair when compared against state election caps or between different sized councils. The entire section on caps is unintelligible and risks being impossible to comply with.
Before opposing the bill, I sought to postpone debate by a month and my independent colleague, Greg Piper, sought to remove all sections on local government elections, but the government blocked our moves. However, conceding that more work is needed, the government agreed to refer local government expenditure caps to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters. My speeches are HERE.