The Coalition has today forced the City of Sydney Amendment (Elections) Bill 2014 through Parliament. The bill was designed by the Shooters party and delivered by the Coalition in order to entrench corporate voting and halve the voice of residents on council.
While the Coalition and Shooters teamed up to double the corporate vote, the Greens succeeded in amending the bill to prevent the undemocratic scheme from being applied in any Local Government area outside the City of Sydney.
Greens NSW MP and Local Government spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
“This bill is designed to disenfranchise residents in the City of Sydney and hand political power to corporate Australia.
“Corporations should not have a single vote in council elections, let alone two as this undemocratic law provides.
“There was a small victory for democracy with the Parliament voting in favour of a Greens amendment to prevent this ugly corporate voting scheme from being rolled out across the state.
“This Greens amendment will, at least for now, prevent the double corporate voting regime being imposed on residents across the state in councils such as Newcastle, Wollongong, North Sydney and Parramatta.
“Despite being amended the bill remains an effective gerrymander in the City of Sydney for those political parties that place corporate interests over communities.
“There is no legitimate reason to give corporations two votes, the idea that corporate interests do not currently have enough influence in NSW politics is frankly laughable.
“These laws are yet another example of this government selling democracy to the highest bidder and directly handing political control to corporate interests.
“In any new parliament we will move legislation to repeal this undemocratic bill.” Mr Shoebridge said.
Greens Member for Balmain Jamie Parker said:
“This bill literally steals the votes of the 10,000 residents of the City of Sydney who live in my electorate of Balmain and won’t forget what this Liberal government has done to them.
“By giving property and corporations the vote this bill takes our electoral system back more than one hundred years and erodes the fundamental principle of one person one vote.” Mr Parker said.