The Opposition has slammed the McGowan Government for misleading the public on electoral reform in the wake of today’s announcement on changes planned for the State’s electoral system.
“This is the first example of overreach by the McGowan Government, who clearly have no intention of being careful or cautious with their massive majority,” Opposition Leader and Shadow Minister for Electoral Affairs Mia Davies said.
“Before the election, the Premier consistently said electoral reform was not on the Government’s agenda.
“Just seven weeks in, after the first day of Parliament and promises to use their majority responsibly, they announce plans to disenfranchise regional Western Australians.
“It’s clear the Premier used weasel words during the campaign to avoid backlash in regional Western Australia and is now re-writing history to justify the decision.”
Ms Davies said the Committee announced by the Attorney General was far from independent, and was handpicked by the Government to get the outcome they want.
“The advisory panel is a group of academic activists who have publicly advocated for reform to introduce one-vote-one-value in the Legislative Council,” she said.
“The panel will deliver a pre-determined outcome for the Premier under the guise of equity for all voters.
“I’ll consider their academic arguments on equity when I see equity for access to health care, education, affordable transport and communications for regional Western Australians.
“A reduction in representatives in the State’s Parliament that understand and advocate for these issues is not the solution.”
Ms Davies said the Opposition was not opposed to sensible reform, particularly in relation to addressing the election of Party’s or individuals on very low numbers of votes.
“We’re not unreasonable, and will consider sensible ways to strengthen our electoral system, but we won’t be part of disenfranchising regional voters for some ideological and academic ideal,” she said.
Submissions to the review can be made at: https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/wa-electoral-reform/electoral-reform-submission.