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Liberals' State Election Positioning at Expense of Democracy

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 19 October 2017

Tags: Local Government, Glenorchy, Huon Valley, Governance, Democracy

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Local Government spokesperson 

In Question Time today, the Minister for Local Government failed to explain why he is ordering a Glenorchy Council election for early January, but leaving residents in the Huon Valley to wait another year before they have the same opportunity.

His answer to the Greens' question doesn't pass the sniff test.

Both councils had serious allegations of staff and councillor misconduct and financial mismanagement that resulted in their councils being dismissed and a Board of Inquiry process.

Both councils are under administration but, for some reason, only Glenorchy residents are going to the polls early.

It looks likely Glenorchy citizens will go to the polls before the GCC Board of Inquiry's findings are made public, meaning residents may unwittingly re-elect those who have behaved with misconduct and contributed to council dysfunction.

An informed public is essential for democracy to work. Glenorchy's Board of Inquiry findings must be made public before an election. 

Minister Gutwein said he wanted to end the uncertainty and restore democracy to Glenorchy.  It looks more like the Liberals want to remove Kristie Johnson from the Denison campaign, and provide some comfort to any high profile Liberal candidate who came forward.

Otherwise, Huon Valley residents - who have seen their Council's Board of Inquiry report and are under administration - would be afforded the same democratic opportunity to re-elect their Council immediately.