Mayor of Botany Bay Condemns Extra Votes for Business

Published on 14 August 2014

Mayor condemns extra votes for business
Mayor of Botany Bay Mr Ben Keneally has condemned the State Government's proposed changes to voting at local government elections in the City of Sydney. Local Government Minister Paul Toole has announced the proposal will be “rolled out” to other council areas.

The “Melbourne Model” includes businesses having an extra vote at council elections.

“It is simply undemocratic to give businesses two votes and residents just one” Mr Keneally said, “putting business interests first would shift control of the council away from residents”.

Mr Keneally also criticised the fact that the proposed Bill was announced but has not been put before the Parliament and that only the Shooters and Fishers Party has been consulted.

“The fact is no one has seen this Bill. It's been devised in secret between the Shooters and Fishers Party and the Liberal Party, with the Property Council being very quick off the mark to support it.

“The Government needs to make the Bill public and ask the community what it thinks. A change in the way our suburbs are looked after demands community consultation.

“The NSW Liberal Government has already spent over $2 million in reports about amalgamation that have gone nowhere. The final report released last October has still not had a formal response from the government. Is the introduction of the ‘Melbourne Model’ a way of achieving amalgamation by stealth?”

“Mr Baird and Mr Toole must explain why businesses will get two votes when the residents who live in our City of Botany Bay will only get one” Mr Keneally said.

“Businesses, despite being taxpayers, do not get a vote at any other level of government. It's simply absurd to give them a double vote at the local level”, Mr Keneally said.