Docstoc

LGA Information Technology Survey

Document Sample
LGA Information Technology Survey Powered By Docstoc
					                      LGA Independent Elections Review
                             Final Report Survey
             Please return by    27 June 2008 to email patti.raftopoulos@lga.sa.gov.au


Date of document:     20 May 2008

Council Name: ____________________________________________________________________________

Your Name: __________________________ Position: _______________________________

Phone No: _______________________ Email:_____________________________________

Date Completed: _______________________

In completing this survey please indicate if consultation with other representatives from your Council
occurred:


□   Council Meeting

□    Informal consultation with Principal Member / Other Members

□   No Consultation, but reference to existing Council Policy / Resolution

□   Other please specify _____________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________




    This survey incorporates the “Recommendations” of the final report and provides an opportunity for Councils
    to provide comment and feedback.

    Preliminary LGA officer comments have been provided to assist Councils with their consideration and do not
    necessarily represent the formal position of the LGA.

    Below the LGA comment is an area for your Council to indicate its support by ticking the relevant box, and
    comment if you wish. Please note Council comments should be concise and no more than approximately
    250 words per answer.

    Council feedback from this survey will be collated and included in the LGA submission on the final report.
    The LGA State Executive Committee will consider the feedback received from Councils and prepare a
    submission for consideration at the next State Executive Committee meeting.

    For further information regarding this survey contact Patti Raftopoulos on 8224 2068
    or email patti.raftopoulos@lga.sa.gov.au
                  Independent Review of Local Government Elections - Final Report Survey, May 2008



LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS
The Review recommends:


  1         maintaining voluntary postal voting for the next local government election, and seeking to
            maximise voter participation through the comprehensive package of reforms contained in
            Recommendations 2 to 12.



LGA Comment:
The LGA notes that the majority of those submitting to the review favour the maintenance of voluntary voting.
This is consistent with the policy view of the LGA and community attitudes monitored by the LGA via
independently conducted surveys on 8 separate occasions between 1985 and 2006.

Please indicate support by ticking the relevant box:
□ Agree                        □ Disagree                   □ Undecided
Please provide Council comment if you wish here:

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________




DME 40317                                                                                                  2
                  Independent Review of Local Government Elections - Final Report Survey, May 2008




     2      that the State Government and the Local Government Association (LGA) work together, with
                         local communities
                         local government and
                         the Community Engagement Board for SA's Strategic Plan
            to promote increased participation in local government elections and the concepts
            underpinning SASP Target 5.5



LGA Comment:
The LGA supports encouraging greater voter participation in Local Government elections. It notes that the
specific target set in the SASP by the State Government target to increase voter participation to 50% by
2014, has not been formally endorsed by the LGA as achievable. A number of Councils have questioned
whether the SASP target is achievable in the timeframe set under a voluntary voting system.

The LGA would welcome continued State Government support in relation to encouraging greater voter
participation, but notes that such support should be carefully limited to ensure it is not seen by Councils or
the community as inappropriate interference by State Government in local election outcomes. We believe
this has been the case to date and would assume the State would want to maintain such limitations.

Lastly it is also the view of the LGA that the question of general community understanding about Local
Government and the role of the elected Council is inextricable from the question of voter turnout. Indeed we
suspect that further promotion of the elections per se will have little impact on turnout figures unless
accompanied by substantial and ongoing community education about Local Government and the role of
elected members. The LGA is already active in this area and has as a priority the development of further
strategies to achieve such outcomes.

Please indicate support by ticking the relevant box:

1.       Does your Council support the SASP target?
         □ Yes                     □ No                     □ Unsure
2.       Do you think this target is achievable?
         □ Yes                     □ No                     □ Unsure
         If your Council believes this target is unachievable, and believes there should be a different target,
         please indicate that target below.
3.       In the promotion of Local Government, the LGA, Councils, and State Agencies can play a useful
         role. Who do you believe should lead the process?

         □ LGA                     □ Councils               □ State Agencies
4.       In the promotion of Local Government Elections, the LGA, Councils, and State Agencies can play
         a useful role. Who do you believe should lead the process?

         □ LGA                     □ Councils               □ State Agencies
Please provide Council comment if you wish here:

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
DME 40317                                                                                                         3
                  Independent Review of Local Government Elections - Final Report Survey, May 2008




    3       that candidates be required to insert, into their profile, contact details to enable voters to find
                                                                                                              1
            out more about their candidacy. This could be a phone number, email or website address;
            and



LGA Comment:
The LGA is not opposed to the idea as long as candidates are able to determine which method they wish
electors to use when contacting them.

Please indicate support by ticking the relevant box:
□ Agree                          □ Disagree                   □ Undecided
Please provide Council comment if you wish here:

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________




1
  A postal address should not be considered sufficient, as intending voters should not be
expected to invest 50c merely in the hope of gaining a response from the candidate.
DME 40317                                                                                                         4
                   Independent Review of Local Government Elections - Final Report Survey, May 2008




                                                                                           2
     4      that the LGA and the Office for State/Local Government Relations (OS/LGR) investigate the
            feasibility of ensuring that all candidates have an internet presence providing more
            information than the profile contained in the ballot pack. Each candidate would be required
            to:
                      take personal responsibility for any opinions expressed; and
                      indemnify website hosts and publishers from any liability arising from the
                                    3
                       publication.

            The cost of establishing and maintaining suitable internet resources, over a nine-week postal
            election campaign could be funded by:

               
                                                                                       4
                       charging a fee to each candidate sufficient to cover the costs. The fee could be
                       collected as the cost of nominating for election; and/or
                      the State Government, through the OS/LGR, providing cash and/or assistance in
                       kind (i.e. web servers, the temporary services of administrative officers for web
                       publishing).

            Such a scheme would enable statewide promotion of a single web address that would lead
            voters to information about any candidate.


LGA Comment:
This is a recommendation worth considering.

Please indicate support by ticking the relevant box:

1.       Do you agree with each candidate having an internet presence?
         □ Agree                         □ Disagree                   □ Undecided
2.       Do you believe that the cost of establishing and maintaining suitable internet resources over the
         election campaign period should be funded by:

         □ Each Candidate                □ State Government           □ Councils               □ Other (Specify)

Please provide Council comment if you wish here:

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________


2
  It would not be appropriate to expect the State Electoral Office to operate, host, or facilitate
such a resource because it would contain political arguments.
3
  As an additional protection, the organisation hosting or publishing the comments might also
be protected by a legislated immunity from liability.
4
  i.e. website hosting and bandwidth (data traffic) costs, plus the cost of hiring temporary
staff to maintain the web pages during the election campaign period.
DME 40317                                                                                                      5
                  Independent Review of Local Government Elections - Final Report Survey, May 2008




  5         the LGA, with support from OS/LGR, encourage regional organisations of councils and the
            LGA Metropolitan Group to develop, in conjunction with local communities and the
            Community Engagement Board for SA's Strategic Plan, targets for voter participation within
            each region and strategies to achieve these targets.


LGA Comment:
The LGA would welcome continued State Government support in relation to encouraging greater voter
participation, but notes that such support should be carefully limited to ensure it is not seen by Councils or
the community as inappropriate interference by State Government in local election outcomes. We believe
this has been the case to date and would assume the State would want to maintain such limitations.

It is also the view of the LGA that the question of general community understanding about Local Government
and the role of the elected Council is inextricable from the question of voter turnout. Indeed we suspect that
further promotion of the elections per se will have little impact on turnout figures unless accompanied by
substantial and ongoing community education about Local Government and the role of elected members.
The LGA is already active in this area and has as a priority the development of further strategies to achieve
such outcomes.

The LGA is prepared to raise with Councils their willingness to discuss adopting their own turnout target, and
subsequently for the LGA to form a view and formally respond to the SASP target. This could be
accompanied by development of a model plan to assist Councils to implement strategies to help achieve
their targets.

Please indicate support by ticking the relevant box:
□ Agree                        □ Disagree                   □ Undecided
Please provide Council comment if you wish here:

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________




DME 40317                                                                                                    6
                    Independent Review of Local Government Elections - Final Report Survey, May 2008



  6         that prior to the next local government elections, the State Electoral Office (SEO) in
            partnership with the LGA, call for tenders from suitably qualified advertising agencies to
            develop and implement an information and promotional campaign to:
                    educate South Australians about the role and functions of local government and the
                     role of elected members;
                    inform electors how to find out more about their local candidates ;
                    encourage voting, and
                    explain how to vote; (with e.g. pictures of ballot envelopes etc)

            Funding for this advertising campaign would be secured by amending section 12 of the Local
            Government (Elections) Act 1999 so that responsibility for election promotion is shared
            between councils and the returning officer. This would enable the returning officer‟s costs of
            promotion to be recovered from councils under section 13.


LGA Comment:
The LGA supports this recommendation. For the purposes of these questions, the LGA‟s is reading
„advertising agencies‟ as appropriate qualified bodies. (See questions under Recommendation 2 above).

The LGA believes further effort can be made to improve the general promotion of Local Govt and the role of
Council Members and that this can be programmed to “peak” appropriately to support higher turnouts for
elections. Importantly it believes this responsibility should remain vested in Local Govt and not be taken over
by State Govt or State agencies. We believe such an approach would be contrary to the intention of the
State/Local Govt Relations Agreement. We would welcome ongoing contribution of State expertise and
resources in support of this work.

Please indicate support by ticking the relevant box:
□ Agree                          □ Disagree                   □ Undecided
Please provide Council comment if you wish here:

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________




DME 40317                                                                                                    7
                  Independent Review of Local Government Elections - Final Report Survey, May 2008




  7         the creative advertising agency hired to advise on a state-wide campaign also be tasked with
            devising targeted strategies to address the particular issues for large metropolitan councils
            where turnout has previously been lowest. This would inform the statewide campaign and
            also assist these particular councils to undertake additional advertising using the „model‟
            template, in order to reach metropolitan council and regional targets.



LGA Comment:
The LGA already undertakes significant work to assist Councils to promote greater turnout and would be
pleased to work with those Councils with low voter turnouts (generally larger Metro Councils) to identify
strategies which may impact more effectively in their areas.

Please indicate support by ticking the relevant box:
□ Agree                        □ Disagree                   □ Undecided

Please provide Council comment if you wish here:

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________




DME 40317                                                                                                   8
                    Independent Review of Local Government Elections - Final Report Survey, May 2008




  8         that the Returning Officer, in conjunction with the LGA and the OS/LGR, obtains appropriate
            professional advice to review the style, layout and content of the ballot pack and contents to
            ensure that they are:
                     eye-catching, yet
                     recognisably formal and
                     contain instructions that are as simple as possible to follow, consistent with the need
                      to require the voter to formally assert his/her identity.


LGA Comment:
The LGA supports this recommendation which is consistent with the past practice of the State Electoral
Commissioner to continually review and improve the presentation of ballot pack information and its
presentation.

Please indicate support by ticking the relevant box:
□ Agree                          □ Disagree                   □ Undecided
Please provide Council comment if you wish here:

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________




DME 40317                                                                                                       9
                  Independent Review of Local Government Elections - Final Report Survey, May 2008




  9         that any person, group or body corporate property owner or occupier with a legislative right
            to enrolment must be offered an opportunity to enrol to vote in any local government
            election. Voting papers should be sent only to those who have enrolled themselves.



LGA Comment:
Councils responding to the LGA gave strong support for this recommendation, supporting the arguments put
forward in the interim report. The difficulties in merging different rolls for Local Government election was
noted. At the same time there was very low support for abolishing the property franchise entirely or outside
the City of Adelaide.

Please indicate support by ticking the relevant box:
□ Agree                        □ Disagree                   □ Undecided
Please provide Council comment if you wish here:

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________




DME 40317                                                                                                  10
                Independent Review of Local Government Elections - Final Report Survey, May 2008




  10        that the property franchise entitlement for the Adelaide City Council be adopted for the rest
            of local government, so that an individual natural person is not entitled to vote in more than
            one capacity for any election.



LGA Comment:
The LGA does not have a policy position on this issue, and would therefore be keen to gain feedback on this
recommendation from Councils.

Please indicate support by ticking the relevant box:
□ Agree                      □ Disagree                   □ Undecided
Please provide Council comment if you wish here:
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________




DME 40317                                                                                                    11
                Independent Review of Local Government Elections - Final Report Survey, May 2008




  11        legislating so that groups and bodies corporate that choose to enrol must be (at the time of
            enrolling):
                  required to nominate the name of the natural person who is authorised to exercise
                     a vote for the group or body corporate; and
                  advised by the council CEO that this natural person cannot vote in any other
                     capacity (including as a resident) for the same local government election.


LGA Comment:
The LGA does not have a policy position on this issue, and would therefore be keen to gain feedback on this
recommendation from Councils.

Please indicate support by ticking the relevant box:
□ Agree                      □ Disagree                   □ Undecided

Please provide Council comment if you wish here:

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________




DME 40317                                                                                                  12
               Independent Review of Local Government Elections - Final Report Survey, May 2008




  12        that, as planned by the SEO, the postal voting guide produced for the next local
            government elections must contain at least one sentence in each of the 12 most
            commonly-used languages other than English, about how to obtain a copy of the postal
            voting guide in each of those other respective languages.


LGA Comment:
The LGA supports this proposal.

Please indicate support by ticking the relevant box:
□ Agree                     □ Disagree                   □ Undecided
Please provide Council comment if you wish here:

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________




DME 40317                                                                                          13
                Independent Review of Local Government Elections - Final Report Survey, May 2008




  13        legislating to remove two of the differences in residential qualifications between the House
            of Assembly roll and the local government CEO‟s roll. That is to say,
                      those who have resided in the district for less than one month; (but who may
                          still be on the roll in respect of their previous address); and
                      those of “unsound mind”;
            (who therefore are not entitled to vote in State Parliamentary elections) be also prohibited
            from voting in their current residential district for local government elections.


LGA Comment:
This would simplify the preparation of the combined voters roll, however the LGA does not have a policy
position on this issue, and would therefore be keen to gain feedback on this recommendation from Councils.

Please indicate support by ticking the relevant box:
□ Agree                      □ Disagree                   □ Undecided
Please provide Council comment if you wish here:

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________




DME 40317                                                                                                  14
                Independent Review of Local Government Elections - Final Report Survey, May 2008




  14        altering the date of future local government elections so that they fall 18 to 19 months after
            the date of State elections. This would require extending the current term of office of all
            elected councils by 10 to 11 months, to conclude with an election sometime in September
            or October 2011, and every 4 years thereafter.



LGA Comment:
The LGA understands the concern of the State Electoral Office regarding the proximity of Local and State
elections, however, it does not have a policy position on this issue, and would therefore be keen to gain
feedback on this recommendation from Councils. The LGA is also conscious that the next likely date for the
State elections will be 2010.

Please indicate support by ticking the relevant box:
□ Agree                      □ Disagree                   □ Undecided
Please provide Council comment if you wish here:

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________




DME 40317                                                                                                    15
                Independent Review of Local Government Elections - Final Report Survey, May 2008




  15        amending the Local Government (Elections) Act 1999 so that a person who turns 18 in the
            3-month interval between the close of rolls and the close of voting may vote in a local
            government election, provided that the person was already provisionally enrolled on the
            House of Assembly electoral roll.


LGA Comment:
The LGA supports this recommendation which would be consistent with State Government provisions
allowing people who turn 18 before the day of the election to vote if they have provisionally enrolled on the
House of Assembly roll.

Please indicate support by ticking the relevant box:
□ Agree                      □ Disagree                   □ Undecided
Please provide Council comment if you wish here:

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________




DME 40317                                                                                                 16
                Independent Review of Local Government Elections - Final Report Survey, May 2008




  16        that the LGA consider the possibility of establishing (prior to the next election campaign):
                         a register of experienced election campaigners (e.g. currently serving, or
                           retired elected members from any sphere of government) who are willing
                           to act as a volunteer campaign mentors to future, inexperienced
                           candidates; and
                         a mechanism for matching a would-be candidate with a suitable volunteer
                           mentor.


LGA Comment:
The LGA would support the concept of improving general information available to assist candidates to
understand how they can go about campaigning. We are willing to consider the concept outlined in the first
part of this proposal, however a number of Councils have expressed reservations on how it would work.
There is also an argument that running an effective campaign is a key indicator on which electors make
judgements about where they will cast their votes – effectively that those who cannot run an effective
campaign will suffer the consequences. Concern has been expressed about any potential for State
Government involvement or the involvement of former State or Federal members to be perceived as
encouraging party political influence in Local Government elections.

Please indicate support by ticking the relevant box:
□ Agree                      □ Disagree                   □ Undecided
Please provide Council comment if you wish here:

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________




DME 40317                                                                                                  17
               Independent Review of Local Government Elections - Final Report Survey, May 2008




  17        the LGA (or alternatively the OS/LGR) develop a website that provides simple practical
            information to assist prospective candidates to develop and implement an effective,
            inexpensive election campaign.


LGA Comment:
The LGA would support the concept of improving general information available to assist candidates to
understand how they can go about campaigning. Concern has been expressed about any potential for State
Government involvement or the involvement of former State or Federal members to be perceived as
encouraging party political influence in Local Government elections.

Please indicate support by ticking the relevant box:
□ Agree                     □ Disagree                   □ Undecided
Please provide Council comment if you wish here:

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________




DME 40317                                                                                            18
                Independent Review of Local Government Elections - Final Report Survey, May 2008




  18        the LGA, the OS/LGR and State agencies with specialist knowledge of currently under-
            represented groups develop and implement a series of specifically targeted campaigns,
            using the framework outlined on page 76, to inform and support members of under-
            represented groups to consider nominating for the next local government elections.


LGA Comment:
The LGA recognises that some sections of the community have a lower level of understanding of Local
Government and the role of elected members and less access to relevant information. It has over many
years sought to partner with other organisations to ensure such information and information about
nomination and elections gets to those sections of the community including providing targeted information
sessions for indigenous groups. The LGA particularly acknowledges the support of the Office of State/Local
Government Relations, Aboriginal Affairs Division of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, the Office for
Youth, the Office of the Status of Women, Multicultural SA, the Australian Local Government Women‟s
Association and a number of specialist media organisations in the lead up to the 2006 Local Government
elections.

The LGA would support a similar approach in future elections with an earlier timeframe. In doing so it is
important firstly to recognise that potential candidates from such groups will make their own decisions about
nominating and that it is important that such a role is not interpreted as assisting particular candidates in
campaigning – ahead of other candidates. To avoid any confusion we would suggest a recommendation
should refer to information campaigns rather than promotional campaigns.

Please indicate support by ticking the relevant box:
□ Agree                      □ Disagree                   □ Undecided
Please provide Council comment if you wish here:
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________




DME 40317                                                                                                 19
               Independent Review of Local Government Elections - Final Report Survey, May 2008




  19        the Local Government (Elections) Act 1999 be amended so that in council areas with a
            popularly-elected Mayor, any candidate may nominate for both Mayor and councillor, with
            the Mayoral position to be decided first. Once the Mayoral ballot has been decided,
            preferences can be distributed for positions of councillor.


LGA Comment:
The LGA has not supported the concept of dual candidacy. While it is recognised that Local Government is
the only sphere of government in which the “principle member” can be directly elected, there was concern
that dual candidacy is not consistent with approaches to State or Federal elections and may confuse voters.
Concern was expressed that such a system would not allow voters to express different preferences for the
position of Mayor to that for other Council positions if Mayoral preferences flowed to other candidates for
Councillor positions. The LGA understands that data from other election processes in which dual candidacy
applies indicates a significantly higher level of informal voting.

Please indicate support by ticking the relevant box:
□ Agree                     □ Disagree                   □ Undecided
Please provide Council comment if you wish here:

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________




DME 40317                                                                                               20
                  Independent Review of Local Government Elections - Final Report Survey, May 2008




     20       legislating so that each council is required to have a policy for caretaker rules. The
              legislation should require each council‟s policy to at least prohibit, during a defined election
              period:
                   1. a council making decisions about the employment of a permanent Chief Executive
                       Officer;
                   2. a council entering into a contract or entrepreneurial venture that exceeds a value
                       of $100 000 or 1% of the council's revenue from rates in the preceding financial
                       year (whichever is greater) unless an exemption is granted by the Minister;
                   3. the use of council resources for the advantage of any candidate; and
                   4. a council publishing electoral matter (unless it contains only information about the
                       election process)
              while leaving each council free to adopt more far-reaching caretaker rules, if it wishes.


LGA Comment:
The LGA has previously surveyed Councils regarding the Model Caretaker Policy. Feedback was received
from 26 Councils. Responses varied between being in favour of a caretaker period to strongly opposing any
caretaker period - examples raised of issues where decisions needed to be made to meet contractual or
other deadlines can be managed as is the case in State and Federal governments.

The LGA believes more detailed work is required in relation to this recommendation. Clearly this issue is of
concern to some Councils and caused debate in some areas at the 2006 Local Government elections
however other Councils have not experienced problems. It has also been noted that State and Federal
conventions are not mandated and the issue of consistency between governments has been raised.

At this point the LGA would not support the mandating of this recommendation. It is noted that the Victorian
Legislation creates an approach which is inconsistent to that which applies to State and Federal
governments. Based on State and Federal arrangements, the LGA is proposing to further consult with
Councils on an option which would provide more flexibility and may take a form similar to that of Section 49
of the Local Government Act 1999 which would require Councils to adopt a policy but be less prescriptive
about details. The LGA proposes to undertake more work on its draft “model” caretaker policy.

Please indicate support by ticking the relevant box:

1.        Should the Act require a Council to have a Caketaker Policy?

          □ Yes                       □ No                   □ Unsure
2.        Should the Act specify the 4 prohibitions identified in the recommendation above? (Please comment
          below if you support some but not all of the proposed prohibitions, or any additional prohibitions)

          □ Yes                       □ No                   □ Unsure
3.        Should a Council have the discretion to determine all of the content of a Caretaker Policy?

          □ Yes                       □ No                   □ Unsure
Please provide Council comment if you wish here:

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________

DME 40317                                                                                                        21
                Independent Review of Local Government Elections - Final Report Survey, May 2008




  21        the election period, for purposes of the council‟s caretaker policy, be defined as the period
            commencing when nominations close, (or earlier, at the discretion of the council), and
            ending at the conclusion of the election.


LGA Comment:
Concern was expressed about the potential impact of some aspect of caretaker policy in relation to
supplementary elections. The LGA is still considering the issue of the period in which such policies might
apply, but based on Council feedback is favouring the recommended period, rather than a longer period.

Please indicate support by ticking the relevant box:
□ Agree                      □ Disagree                   □ Undecided
Please provide Council comment if you wish here:

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________




DME 40317                                                                                                   22
               Independent Review of Local Government Elections - Final Report Survey, May 2008




  22        that the ballot draw (to determine the order of candidates on the ballot paper) be moved
            from “as soon as is reasonably practicable after the close of nominations” to 4.00pm, four
            hours after the close of nominations.


LGA Comment:
The LGA supports this recommendation.

Please indicate support by ticking the relevant box:
□ Agree                      □ Disagree                  □ Undecided
Please provide Council comment if you wish here:

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________




DME 40317                                                                                                23
               Independent Review of Local Government Elections - Final Report Survey, May 2008




  23        legislating so that voters roll data may be provided to local government election candidates
            – only after the close of nominations – in electronic format. Consistent with the
            Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, significant penalties should apply for use of the data
            for any purpose (or at any time) other than campaigning in the local government election
            for which the candidate has nominated.


LGA Comment:
The LGA supports this recommendation.

Please indicate support by ticking the relevant box:
□ Agree                      □ Disagree                  □ Undecided
Please provide Council comment if you wish here:

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________




DME 40317                                                                                                  24
               Independent Review of Local Government Elections - Final Report Survey, May 2008




  24        the Local Government (Elections) Act 1999 be amended to insert provisions equivalent to
            s113 (4) of the Electoral Act 1985 to better encourage the withdrawal or retraction of
            election advertising material that the Returning Officer declares to be inaccurate or
            misleading.


LGA Comment:
The LGA supports this recommendation.

Please indicate support by ticking the relevant box:
□ Agree                     □ Disagree                   □ Undecided
Please provide Council comment if you wish here:

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________




DME 40317                                                                                             25
                Independent Review of Local Government Elections - Final Report Survey, May 2008




  25        that if recommendation 14 is to be adopted, further consultation occur with local
            government and the public to determine how best to strike a balance between:
                          maintaining local government representation by filling casual vacancies,
                           especially before the delayed 2011 periodic (general) election, but also in
                           years thereafter; and
                          minimising the cost to communities of an expected increase in the number
                           of supplementary elections that might be required.


LGA Comment:
The LGA‟s response to the interim report indicated support for no supplementary elections after 1 January in
an election year. However, the LGA would appreciate Council feedback on this issue.

Please indicate support by ticking the relevant box:
□ Agree                      □ Disagree                   □ Undecided
Please provide Council comment if you wish here:

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________




DME 40317                                                                                                 26
                Independent Review of Local Government Elections - Final Report Survey, May 2008




  26        that there be no change to the existing provisions for the withdrawal of any candidate after
            nominations have closed, pending further discussions with local government and the SEO.


LGA Comment:
In its response to the interim report, the LGA was open to giving the Electoral Commissioner a discretion to
declare an election failed, or require it to continue. The LGA would appreciate feedback from Councils on
this issue.

Please indicate support by ticking the relevant box:
□ Agree                      □ Disagree                   □ Undecided
Please provide Council comment if you wish here:

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________




DME 40317                                                                                                  27
               Independent Review of Local Government Elections - Final Report Survey, May 2008




  27        amending Section 12 of the Local Government Act 1999 to provide that representation
            reviews may be scheduled by regulation. In the process of consulting on the regulations,
            the Minister and the LGA should consider mechanisms that might be adopted to ensure
            compliance with the schedule.


LGA Comment:
The LGA supports this recommendation, however, is uncertain whether any compliance mechanisms would
be necessary, and would therefore appreciate Council feedback on this issue.

Please indicate support by ticking the relevant box:
□ Agree                     □ Disagree                   □ Undecided
Please provide Council comment if you wish here:

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________




Thankyou for completing this survey




DME 40317                                                                                              28