The Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA) has actively promoted the Victorian Government’s review of the local electoral system and we welcome the opportunity to respond to the two Reports released by the Local Government Electoral Review Panel.
VLGA submission in response to the Georgiou Review into local government electoral processes.pdf
Response to the Georgiou Review into Local Government Electoral Processes
The 2012 local government elections raised a number of questions about the state of local democracy in Victoria. Voter participation fell significantly and the number of complaints about process and candidates rose. These issues and others suggest that improvements can be made to the local government electoral system.
The Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA) actively promoted the Victorian Government’s review of the local electoral system and we welcome the opportunity to respond to the two Reports released by the Local Government Electoral Review Panel. The majority of the Panel’s recommendations were supported and the VLGA recognised that the Panel’s intent has been to strengthen the consistency and coherence of the local government electoral system.
Many of the Panel’s recommendations point to a tension between improved alignment of local government electoral processes with those at State and Federal levels and the acknowledgement that local government is inherently different from these other levels of government. The complexity of the Panel’s task is acknowledged.
The VLGA's submission has been informed by the views and expertise of the VLGA membership, its Board and staff. It is based on research work conducted between 2012 and 20131 and on the contributions of officers and councillors who participated in a series of consultations by the VLGA with our council members, most recently in October 2014. There are mixed and often strongly-held views around questions of electoral reform – and our membership is no different. However, in preparing this response, we have taken the position that the VLGA’s primary concern is around issues of local governance and the need to service and strengthen local democracy.