Council elections to become more transparent: WALGA

By Staff Writer

The passing of a bill to introduce first-past-the-post voting in Western Australia’s local government elections is a step towards greater transparency, according to the state’s Local Government Association.

WA Local Government Association (WALGA) president Cr Bill Mitchell said the return to first-past-the-post voting system was an important issue for local government across the state.

“The legislation still has to pass the Legislative Council but as far as the Association is concerned last night’s vote was a critical step and demonstrates the Minister is delivering on his promise,” Cr Mitchell said.

According to WALGA, the first-past-the-post system is more transparent than proportional preferential voting (PPV) and less likely to be manipulated by political parties.

“The decision to abandon proportional preferential voting and return to first-past-the-post elections is a victory for the persistence of the Local Government sector and a victory for common sense,” Cr Mitchell said.

“Under the first-past-the-post system candidates need only to win the support of their local community whereas under the PPV system there is a greater focus on running mates and back room deals that mostly suit the organised, larger political parties.”

The legislation is likely to be in place before the next local government elections in October this year.

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