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Proportional Representation Society of Australia

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info@prsa.org.au 2020-07-10

 

2020 News
2020-07 ORDERS IN COUNCIL GAZETTED FOR SINGLE-COUNCILLOR WARDS HAVE TAKEN EFFECT:
Orders in Council, for Alterations in the Electoral Structure of several metropolitan Councils - initiated by the successor of Adem Somyurek as Local Government Minister - were published in issue No. G27 of the Victoria Government Gazette on 9 July 2020, and took effect then.

2020-07

SINGLE-COUNCILLOR WARD CONCERN IN GREATER GEELONG:
An article in The Geelong Advertiser newspaper reported on the refusal of Adem Somyurek's replacement as Local Government Minister, Hon. Shaun Leane MLC, to respond to questions about why - in having Greater Geelong City Council change to single-councillor wards - he is totally ignoring Recommendation 6, for multi-councillor wards, made by the Government's three-member Commission of Inquiry into that Council's chronic dysfunction.

2020-06

ARTICLE REPORTS COUNCILS' PUSH AGAINST "SOMYUREK'S POWER GRAB":
An article in The Age newspaper headed, "Grass roots revolt against Somyurek's council power grab", refers to the Mayors of Darebin and Maroondah, who say they oppose the sudden imposition of single-councillor wards, as do the Presidents of the Municipal Association of Victoria, and the Victorian Division of the Australian Local Government Women's Association.

The PRSA agrees with those three women that the move was designed to increase the chance of major party control of councils, and is against the ALP's professed aims for more female councillors. It can and should be reversed, now that the motive behind the sudden reversal of ALP practice has become clear.

All four of those municipal councillors are reported to be contacting Hon. Shaun Leane MLC, who replaced Mr Adem Somyurek as the Minister for Local Government after the Premier had advised the Governor to terminate his commission after allegations of "branch stacking" were made against him.

2020-06 ONLINE DEBATE ON HARE-CLARK VERSUS SINGLE-MEMBER ELECTORATES:
On 24 June 2020, Stephen Morey, PRSA National Secretary, and Daniel Gerrard, ACT Fabians Secretary, conducted the above debate. See a list of hyperlinks to relevant matters in that debate, and a transcript of chat during it.

2020-06

VICTORIA'S GOVERNMENT SHOULD WITHDRAW SINGLE-COUNCILLOR WARDS ORDER:
PRSAV-T Inc. has emailed all members of both houses of Victoria's Parliament urging that the Government should withdraw Adem Somyurek's order for the eight municipalities below, and have the new Minister re-assess the recommendations  the Victorian Electoral Commission made for them.

2020-05 VICTORIA'S MINISTER CANCELS REVIEWS & IMPOSES SINGLE-COUNCILLOR WARDS:
The Minister for Local Government, Hon. Adem Somyurek MLC, has rejected the VEC's reviews of eight municipalities, and indicated that they will be configured with single-councillor wards for the 2020 polls.

2020-04 TASMANIA'S REVIEW OF ITS LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT:
On considering public comments on reforms it proposed to be enacted, Tasmania's Government affirmed most proposals, but fortunately its Review has decided - as the PRSAV-T Inc. submission urged - not to replace, or 'to simplify', Tasmania's superior method of election for Mayors and Deputy Mayors.

The PRSAV-T Inc. submission supported all the other proposals, except the supplementary proposal for term limits for councillors, which the Review also fortunately rejected.

2020-04 TASMANIA'S HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY RESTORATION BILL 2018:
The 136-page Final Report of the Assembly's all-party Select Committee on the House of Assembly Restoration Bill 2018 was tabled in the Assembly in early 2020. The Bill would reverse the Rundle Liberal Government's 1998 reduction in the size of both houses, which followed the Groom Liberal Government's failed attempt to revert to the earlier six MHA's per division in 1993.

The Final Report recommended, without any dissenting report, that the Parliament pass the Bill, and the separate proposal of
a Joint Parliamentary Inquiry being established in this term of Parliament to develop a preferred model that provides for dedicated seats for Tasmanian Aboriginal people in the Parliament.

2020-04 DEMOCRAT PR-STV BILL FOR THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
A congressman, Don Beyer, Democrat, Virginia, last year re-introduced his bill for PR-STV elections for the Lower House of the United States. Like his bill in the previous Congress, it was referred to certain Committees, but it will lapse if not passed by 3 January 2021, when the current 2-year House term ends.

The bill adopts U.S. terms for many aspects of PR-STV that are different from those that have been used for about a century in Australia, Eire and Malta. As with Tasmania before 1918, It does not seem to provide for a PR-STV mode of filling casual vacancies.

2020-03 VICTORIA'S LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 2020 PASSED:
Replacement of Victoria's Local Government Act 1989 - first proposed by the Napthine Government in 2013 - finally occurred when its Local Government Act 2020 received Royal assent on 24 March 2020.

The Minister had moved an amendment, which was unopposed (No. 10 on Page 712 of Hansard), to insert in Clause 13 a Sub-clause (4)(c), to retain the 1989 Act's option of uniform multi-member wards.


That successful amendment fortunately removed PRSAV-T's greatest concern about the original Bill, one of whose provisions would have omitted that existing provision, which has steadily become accepted as a major, and widely appreciated, aspect of Victoria's electoral arrangements. The Minister said he wanted more
single-councillor wards. The PRSAV-T's 2019 submission on the Bill also detailed other concerns.


The method of filling casual vacancies has regrettably been changed from the previous countback, used in Tasmania and the ACT, to a recount procedure, as used for Western Australia's Legislative Council.


2020-02 GUERNSEY TO USE MULTIPLE PLURALITY COUNTING TO ELECT ITS 38 LEGISLATORS:
As a result of a recent referendum, all 38 members of the legislature for the island of Guernsey will be elected from one island-wide electoral district every 4 years using the flawed multiple plurality counting, which might produce a debacle as severe as the election of the 6 senators for New South Wales In 1901.

 

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