At next week's state election on Saturday 26 March, use your Legislative Council vote to ensure the upper house provides strong oversight and demands accountability from the State Government.
If any party has overwhelming control in both houses, the government can do what it likes without challenge, or through deals behind closed doors. I am particularly concerned that the Fred Nile Group, Shooters Party or Pauline Hanson could gain the balance of power in the Upper House.
You can help prevent this by voting for candidates who are committed to transparent, ethical and accountable government.
John Hatton is one such candidate. I worked closely with John between 1988 and 1995, particularly during 50th Parliament (1991-1995) when we held the balance of power with Dr Peter MacDonald. Together we developed a Charter for Reform that resulted in stronger Freedom of Information laws, whistleblower legislation, a Legal Services Commission to independently investigate complaints against lawyers, and many changes which made Parliament more open and democratic.
I have also worked closely with Arthur Chesterfield-Evans and found him to be honest, dedicated and hard-working. Arthur supported many of the Bills that I introduced into Parliament and introduced them in the Legislative Council when they successful passed the Legislative Assembly.
The rules for Legislative Council voting enable you to vote for John (John Hatton Independent Team) and Arthur (Australian Democrats) in order of your preference by either voting above or below the line on the Legislative Council ballot paper.
- Above the line: While you can number just one box, I encourage you to also number other groups in order of your preference-1, 2, 3 and so on. If your first choice is not elected, this gives you a say through your second, third and other choices.
- Below the line: You must number at least 15 squares, in order of your preference, 1 to 15. Your choices can be made from any candidates on the ballot paper - they don't have to be in the same group. You may also number more than 15 squares.