WA councils applaud voting system reform

By Adam Coleman

Council elections in WA will be more transparent and more difficult to be manipulated by the major political parties under plans to abandon the proportional preferential voting system (PPV) according to the WA Local Government Association.

Local Government Minister John Castrilli has briefed councils about the plans which involve the amending of legislation to return to a ‘first-past-the-post’ voting system in time for the next local government elections in October this year.

Councils in the state had overwhelmingly opposed the PPV system which was introduced by the previous state government and used for the 2007 Council elections.

WA Local Government Association president, Cr Bill Mitchell welcomed the decision.

“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,” 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.”

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