04 June 2014

Election reform call for business

The article below appeared in the Eastern Courier. In Goodwood South despite over 20% of homes being rented , which means both the tenants and the landlord get a vote, their were only 35 names on the Supplementary Roll. There would have been at least 400-500 eligible landlords and businesses. Due to changed legislation, seemingly for no other reason other than to make the turnout improve, eligible people need to re-enrol at each election. They have until August to do this, but why should they net be automatically included? If the ownership of property gives you the right to vote in local government then the additional re-registration should be unnecessary.

Eastern Courier Messenger, Adelaide  04 Jun 2014



Meagan Dillon

EASTERN councils have backed a bid to change electoral laws so business owners do not have to reenrol to vote before every local government election.

Opposition local government spokesman and Goyder state Liberal MP Steven Griffiths will introduce a Bill this month calling for laws to be simplified to make it easier for businesspeople to vote in the November election. He said automatic re-enrolment for business owners would increase voter participation.

"It's simple - once you enrol to vote, your name remains on the roll until there is a new owner," Mr Griffiths said.Norwood, Payneham &St Peters Mayor Robert Bria supported the move.

"I think it is crazy that the names of commercial property owners fall off the roll and they have to re-enrol," Mr Bria said. "I never understood why those changes came into place." Unley Mayor Lachlan Clyne said the council had been pushing for automatic re-enrolment's reinstatement since it was scrapped in 2009.

"I think it's an appropriate and sensible step," Mr Clyne said. "We're just a little worried it won't come into effect for this election." Burnside Mayor David Parkin said changing back to the old system would come at a cost. He said the council had not budgeted for any additional voters and
had not investigated how much more it would cost.The council has set aside $143,000 in its budget for the election.
The Local Government Association supported the idea, but was also concerned about the cost to councils in the lead up to the election.
In a report, the LGA said the SA Electoral Commission charged councils a rate per voter and councils had not budgeted for any additional voters in 2014/15 budgets.
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