Today in parliament I asked the Local Government Minister, Nic Street, if the postal vote only election for local government be scrapped and replaced with a traditional polling day at physical booths.
My view is that, now it’s compulsory to vote at council elections, voting should be aligned with state and federal elections which both have a polling day, and I was pleased to hear Minister Street say that he was open to the idea.
Like most members of parliament, he would have received quite a bit of feedback from the community expressing concerns with a postal-only system.
Being postal voting only we have to suffer the vagaries of Australia Post, which commits only to mail delivery times of up to four business days.
I would be interested to know how many ballots arrived after the closing time, or were “lost” in the mail system. I fielded many queries from confused voters who wondered why their neighbour received a ballot and they did not. The uneven delivery of ballots caused a lot of concern.
I accept that Mr Street is approaching this issue with an open mind and wants the best outcome for future local government elections.
I thank him and look forward to a constructive debate.