The State Government is considering a proposal that would severely restrict the choice of voters when electing local councillors and Members of Parliament.
Under the proposal, MPs would be prevented from contesting local elections, and serving councillors would be forced to resign if they are elected to parliament. Where this occurred, communities would have reduced representation on their local councils, until the next Council elections, which could be up to 18 months away.
I am preparing my submission on the discussion paper which will argue that the proposal will have a significant impact on representative democracy and our parliamentary system. Many other significant changes can only be made by referendum. Similarly, this change should only be made if it is approved at a referendum.
After eight years in both roles confirmed by four elections, legislation should not deny people's right to choose.
My submission will argue that holding both roles involves demands similar to members of Parliament who are also ministers but with more overlap of responsibilities and less conflict.
My role enables me to be more effective - advocating and taking action in Parliament for the Sydney community (for example Private Members Bills on small bars, sale of backpacker vehicles and strata reform) and working in the City to deliver on the ground results.
Excluding certain people from representing their communities is a fundamental change to our democracy and I encourage you to read the discussion paper and make a submission. If you would like me to provide you with further information or a copy of my submission, please email me.
The discussion paper is available on the NSW Department of Local Government's website, click here to view.
I encourage you to make a submission before the closing date of 31 January 2012 to: Dual Roles Discussion Paper, Division of Local Government, Locked Bag 3015, Nowra NSW 2541, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or fax: 02 4428 4199.
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