Feedback wanted

Gippsland voters had their say on how local councillors are elected at a public hearing on Monday.

The poorly attended public session was one of 13 held by the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure around the state to gather feedback on how local government elections are conducted and to suggest changes.

The review will consider candidacy requirements, polling methods and electoral representation. The public is invited to make written submissions by 5 November.

Baw Baw and Latrobe property owner Bruce McDonald raised concerns about the time period for candidates to nominate preferences and suggested ways to reduce dummy candidates.

“I think that candidates should be required to be nominated by a certain number of voters from that ward, who cannot nominate any other candidate concurrently,” Mr McDonald said.

“It wouldn’t be difficult for legitimate candidates, but it might be hard for dummy candidates.”

Mr McDonald said he saw the review as an opportunity to have some input so the representation at local government could be improved. Committee for Moe secretary Sue Abbott said she and the handful of others who attended arrived at 3pm when the session was advertised to start and was disappointed that speakers didn’t begin until 4.30pm.

“It was a bit of a schmozzle really. Overall for a government review, and only four or five people from the public that turned up, it was sort of a waste of time,” Ms Abbott said.

“I don’t feel they put it out to the public well enough – either people were unaware or they don’t care.”

Latrobe Government Electoral Review Panel acting chair Anne Murphy said herself and panel members Sally Davis and Petro Georgiou would compile the report by January.

“Some of the other matters we are looking at are whether 150 words is long enough for a candidate statement, how votes are counted and the preferential system,” Ms Murphy said.

For more information or to make a submission visit, email or phone 1300 736 075.