Council voting a must

VOTING is now compulsory for local government elections and a failure to vote could result in a fine. This will be the first time Tasmanians have been required to vote after legislation was rushed through Parliament earlier this year.

Voting will be by postal vote between September and October, with all council positions thrown open and anyone enrolled for House of Assembly elections eligible to vote. Others who are eligible can register by completing a form to be included on the General Manager’s Roll.

This includes:
• Residents who are not on the State Electoral Roll (for instance non-Australian citizens);
• Non-resident owners or occupiers of property in the Derwent Valley, Brighton and Southern Midlands municipal areas; and
• The nominee of a corporate body.

“All elections for Councillors are conducted using a multi-member proportional representation electoral system,” a Tasmanian Electoral Office spokesperson said. “This is directly modelled on the Hare-Clark system used for Tasmanian House of Assembly elections. “A feature of the Hare-Clark system is that vacant seats are filled by recount rather than by-elections.”

There will be a ‘polling period’ of at least 10 days (excluding any Saturday, Sunday or bank holiday). Derwent Valley Mayor Michelle Dracoulis intends to re-contest the election after winning at a by-election earlier this year. Central Highlands Mayor Lou Triffitt and Brighton Mayor Leigh Gray are yet to reveal if they will stand again, but it is likely they will.