Alex Greenwich, the Independent Member for Sydney, has welcomed the City of Sydney Council's resolution in support of moves to improve business voting in City of Sydney Local Government elections. The Lord Mayoral Minute is available HERE.
Mr Greenwich said:
“Businesses can already vote in City of Sydney elections but too few know their rights and the process can be complex and I welcome the council's committment to improve this” Mr Greenwich said.
“As a former CBD small business owner I understand the concerns of chambers of commerce that business should be more involved in local democracy and I have presented my proposal to encourage their vote to the Lord Mayor.
“My bill would make it easier for eligible businesses to get on the electoral roll,” Mr Greenwich said.
Mr Greenwich said he will work with all councillors and members of parliament to progress the reform, despite Liberal Party councillors opposing the resolution tonight:
"I hope Liberal Party councillors will park their personality politics and work to improve the ease, permanency, and transparency of business voting in the City of Sydney"
Further information on the proposed legislation:
“The bill will establish a permanent business and ratepayers electoral register, which the electoral commission will use to create the business and ratepayers roll before an election.
“Businesses will be able to be included on the register at any time and the Electoral Commissioner will be compelled to run education programmes to inform business of their right to vote and contact all businesses to confirm their details on the register are up to date. This will ensure the electoral roll is accurate and guarantee the integrity of the election,” Mr Greenwich said.
“I was alarmed by the Shooters and Fishers Party non-residential voting proposal based on the Melbourne City election model. The Shooters’ proposal could easily be rorted by vested interests to dilute the vote of citizens and eligible businesses; allow people who have never lived in or visited Australia and overseas corporations a vote in local elections; and allow the council, not the independent electoral commissioner to manage the electoral roll.
“My proposal would ensure the independent Electoral Commission is responsible for the roll, keeping it at arms-length form any politically motivated council interference.
“My proposal improves the current system, is simple and inexpensive to implement, and would achieve the desired outcome of greater business participation in local democracy,”
Mr Greenwich will consult with the City’s Chambers of Commerce and the City of Sydney Council before bringing the bill on for debate in NSW Parliament this year.