Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.  Picture: Liam Kidston
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Picture: Liam Kidston

Councils stand united against Government

COUNCILS are preparing to ramp up their campaign against the Palaszczuk Government's planned electoral overhaul amid new polling revealing the majority of Queenslanders are happy with the status quo.

The Government is proposing to replace the current system of optional preferential and first-past-the-post voting to elect mayors and councillors with compulsory preferential voting for divided councils like Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Logan and Townsville.

Senate-style proportional representation is proposed for undivided councils like Toowoomba and Noosa.

The Sunday Mail can reveal polling, commissioned by the Local Government Association of Queensland, shows more 70 per cent of voters were happy with the current system with support highest in Brisbane.

LGAQ president Mark Jamieson said the results demonstrated that voters did not want to see their councils politicised.

"They want to know that the people they elect are going to be operating in the best interest of the community they represent and CPV encourages deals, it will encourage the political parties to become involved.

"I think that will be detrimental to local government and I think that is reflected in the fact that over 70 per cent of people are happy with the current arrangements," he said.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.  Picture: Liam Kidston
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Picture: Liam Kidston

When asked specifically how they felt about compulsory preferential voting, respondents were split with 35 per cent indicating they supported the move and 35 per cent indicating they did not.

Support was slightly higher for proportional representation at 42 per cent with 36 per cent indicating they were neutral and 21 per cent opposed.

Public funding was the least popular of the reforms with just 17 per cent indicating their support while almost 80 per cent supported capping campaign expenditure.

The poll of more than 1200 people also found Queenslanders trusted councils more than the State and Federal Governments with the Commonwealth ranking the worst on trust.

Councillors and mayors from across the state will meet in Brisbane on April 2 to formally agree on the LGAQ's response to the Government's proposals.



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