What the Elephant Shooters Bill will mean

Business in the City of Sydney should and can already choose to vote in local council elections and it's easier for them to vote here than anywhere else in NSW.

But the Elephant Shooters Party and the NSW Liberal Government want to give them more say than residents.

They argue that business pays more rates so they should get more votes. It undermines a key principle of our democracy - that no matter who you are or how much money you make, your vote is just as valued as anyone else's.

Our elections are run by the independent NSW Electoral Commission to ensure that they are fair, transparent and democratic.

The Elephant Shooters Party and the NSW Liberal Government want to turn that practice on its head and put the City in charge of the process.

It's like asking the Premier's Department to run State elections. Can you imagine the corruption and political interference exposed at ICAC, transferred to local elections?

In reality, the Elephant Shooters Bill is more bureaucratic for business than the current system and threatens businesses with new fines ranging up to $2,200.

The Bill also allows the Minister to extend these changes to any other local government area in NSW with just a stroke of a pen.

Respected election analyst Antony Green has described the Bill as legislation 'inspired by malice, not public policy" saying 'whoever's putting this up is trying to rort the result."

Manipulating votes is the last thing this State Government should do at a time when so many of their MPs have had to either stand aside or resign because of dodgy donations.

There are smarter and more effective ways to encourage businesses to vote. Independent MP Alex Greenwich has already put forward an alternative Bill that protects our democracy and makes life easier for business.

It would protect the principle of equal voting rights, and ensure the electoral process is independent.

His Bill strips away the bureaucracy of business voting, makes it easier for businesses to vote, leaves businesses with the choice of deciding for themselves and protects the integrity of all votes in the community - residents and businesses - by making all votes equal.

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