Local electoral law bill passes first reading

  • David Carter
Local Government

A bill that will strengthen the Local Electoral Act, including the rules around donations, has passed its first reading in Parliament.

Local Government Minister David Carter says the Local Electoral Amendment Bill No 2 will provide greater efficiency and transparency around the conduct of local elections.

“The Bill will bring the Local Electoral Act closer into line with the Electoral Act which governs parliamentary elections and, in doing so help build trust in the local electoral system.”

Mr Carter says the Bill will increase accountability in local elections through new or enhanced provisions for the receipt, disclosure, reporting and recording of donations, especially anonymous donations.

“The key changes limit the size of anonymous donations a candidate can keep to $1500, revise the definition of “anonymous”, increase disclosure, reporting and recording obligations and introduce penalties for non-compliance.”

Mr Carter says the Bill also increases flexibility for city and district councils to set ward boundaries in a way that better reflect communities and geographic features. It also proposes improvements to the information provided by candidates for local authority positions.

“In short, this Bill will allow for more effective democratic representation,” Mr Carter says.