Shadow Local Government Minister Ann Leahy

October 8, 2019

The LNP is warning that Council elections across Queensland cost more if Labor doesn’t abandon its plan to introduce compulsory preferential voting in local government polls.

Under compulsory preferential voting, electors must number every square on their ballot papers.

Shadow Local Government Minister Ann Leahy said councils were overwhelmingly opposed to the plan.

“Compulsory preferential voting is a desperate tactic being forced on every Queensland council to shore up Labor’s vote in Brisbane,” Ms Leahy said.

“Labor’s vote-rigging reforms are not backed by the Crime and Corruption Commission or the Local Government Association of Queensland.

“Parliament was promised a debate back in August, but Labor keeps kicking the can down the road in the hope that the criticism will go away.

“There are now only six months to go until Council elections and they could be a democratic disaster if Labor tries to rush through its compulsory preferential voting plan.”

The LNP said the cost of Council elections would increase from $17.2 million to $27.4 million under compulsory preferential voting.

There were also fears that voters could become confused.

The re-introduction of compulsory preferential voting system in the 2017 State election led to the rate of informal voting more than doubling from 2.11 per cent to 4.34 per cent.

“Labor’s reforms will cost ratepayers more, cause more confusion among voters and have been rejected by Queensland councils,” Ms Leahy said.

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