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August Council Meeting Update

posted 4 Aug 2015, 02:02 by Christel Mex   [ updated 1 Sept 2018, 18:26 ]
At last night’s council meeting I supported the release for public consultation a policy to promote live music, and a new permit policy for business merchandise on Council footpaths. Council also discussed an upcoming private members bill that would require local government candidates to disclose political affiliations prior to council elections. Here's what I said:

Item 11.12 – Local Government Elections

I noted with interest in a media report that the Adelaide City Council voted to support the bill, but also recommended disclosures for campaign donations and affiliations outside of party politics.

Those that support the bill believe that political parties are already infiltrating local government elections and are using councils as a training ground for future politicians - but this is not disclosed, or transparent.

Associate Professor Haydon Manning, of Flinders University, was quoted in InDaily, that Council candidates backed by political parties have an advantage over independent candidates. He said candidates with party backing get hep with campaign literature, electronic copies of the electoral role – and he said it was a reasonable and long-overdue reform to have political ties, donations and other affiliations disclosed before council elections.

Whilst I do agree that affiliations, both political and otherwise, should be disclosed in campaign material and profiles, I don’t agree that affiliations should be disclosed on ballot papers – as independents would have nothing against their name which would be puzzling for voters.

I would like to see all candidates declare both memberships of political parties, and memberships of any incorporated association.  In the interests of full transparency, I would also support the declaring of any campaign donations over $500 before council elections are held.