Merv Welch
Merv Welch

‘Preposterous’: New legislation a threat to democracy

Letter to the Editor

 

SOME of the best news on the election front this week was not about handouts.

It was the commitment by the Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchcliff that Labor would overturn the recently enacted legislation that allowed mayors and councillors who, for any reason, are unable to fulfil their obligations within 12 months of their election to be replaced by the "runners up."

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What a perversion of the democratic process that would be!

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It would mean that candidates who had been rejected by the majority at election time would be automatically installed in office by legislation.

Trainer Gregory Hickman (left) poses for a photograph with Queensland Racing and Local Government Minister Sterling Hinchcliff (AAP Image/Albert Perez)
Trainer Gregory Hickman (left) poses for a photograph with Queensland Racing and Local Government Minister Sterling Hinchcliff (AAP Image/Albert Perez)

It is hard to imagine how such a preposterous denial of the will of the people could have seen the light of day, let alone be enacted in the parliament.

Apparently the mayors belatedly realised that the legislation potentially exposed them to the risk of foul play. And the government acknowledged that it was a legitimate concern and responded with the pledge to repeal the legislation and replace it with the appropriate requirement of a by-election.

As well, Labor seems to be making a serious attempt to clean up local government elections by banning developer donations and imposing caps on candidates'campaign spending.

There has been ample evidence in recent times that such regulation is overdue.

Merv Welch, The Palms.

Merv Welch
Merv Welch