Monday, March 4, 2013

Council not keen on extended term

THE Derwent Valley Council will tell the State Government that it does not support a 12-month extension to the terms of half of Tasmania's local government councillors. Local Government Minister Bryan Green's proposed reforms were discussed at the council's monthly meeting in February and a week later at last week's councillor workshop on the topic.

Most councillors thought it inappropriate to ask councils to comment on the proposal to extend the terms of some councillors to enable reforms to be introduced next year. If carried out, five Derwent Valley councillors would have their terms extended by one year and four others would have a 12 months cut from their term of office.

In response to a request for comments on the proposed reforms, the council reiterated its previous position:

  • In favour of compulsory voting for council elections (not opt-in compulsory as proposed by Mr Green); 
  • Against the proposal to prevent people from serving on council and in State Parliament at the same time (the council's view is that mayors or deputy mayors elected to Sate Parliament should immediately resign from the position of mayor or deputy mayor, but should be able to sit on council for the remainder of their term;
  • In favour of all-in, all-out elections with four-year terms for councillors, Mayors and Deputy Mayors; and,
  • Against "around the-the-table" election of deputy mayors.

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