Thank you Mr Speaker
My question is to the Minister for Local Government.
Minister, the local government elections have concluded, and I thank the Electoral Commissioner and his staff for doing a great job.
But Minister, it wasn’t all plain sailing.
This was the first time for compulsory voting in local elections, which caused some concern with voters.
For a start, participation was very low. For these council elections participation was around 85%, while for state and federal elections we see about 92%.
Secondly, because local government is a postal ballot, we have to suffer the vagaries of Australia Post, which commits only to mail delivery times of up to four business days.
How many ballots arrived after the closing time, I wonder?
And I’m sure you would have 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 confusion.
Minister, now that voting for local government is compulsory, should the postal ballot be scrapped and councils brought in to line with state and federal elections, with a polling day at traditional booths?