Lord Mayor Clover Moore has called on the NSW Parliament to abandon the Shooters and Fishers Party City of Sydney Amendment (Elections) Bill 2014 after it was revealed today that an independent review of the Victorian local government election process has recommended major changes to business voting in Melbourne.
The review of Victoria's local government electoral system, chaired by former MP, respected senior Liberal Petro Georgiou, has recommended abandoning the City of Melbourne electoral system, the same system the Shooters want to impose on Sydney.
"The argument used by the Shooters, the Liberal Party and their few supporters has constantly been that 'Melbourne does it so we should follow suit' - today we've learnt that the Melbourne model of business voting could fundamentally be changed," Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
"This review has debunked the claim that the Melbourne business voting model works and sends a strong warning against adopting a system that Melbourne may soon abandon.
"It would be unthinkable for the NSW Government to now push through these undemocratic and deeply unpopular changes."
The key recommendations in the Georgiou report include:
- Corporations should have one vote - not two as proposed in the Shooters Bill;
- The Victorian Electoral Commission should be responsible for preparing the City of Melbourne roll, not the City's general manager - the Shooters Bill does the reverse - transferring responsibility from the NSW Electoral Commission to the City of Sydney CEO;
- Automatic enrolment of business voters should cease - Under the Shooters Bill business voters will be automatically enrolled without their consent.
"Serious concerns have already been raised about the Shooters Bill, particularly the possibility that many small businesses may lose their right to vote.
"The findings of the Georgiou review provide the strongest case yet for the unpopular Shooters Bill to be withdrawn," Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
"If the government refuses to withdraw its support for the Bill, it should be referred to a Parliamentary Committee for detailed scrutiny. This Committee should examine all aspects of the Bill, taking into account the Georgiou report recommendations and submissions from the public and local government election experts."