Labor must throw out anti-democratic local government laws

The resignation of Rockhampton’s mayor Margaret Strelow shows why the first job of Labor’s new Local Government Minister must be to overturn their anti-democratic ‘runner-up laws’.

LNP Shadow Minister for Local Government Ann Leahy said Labor’s changes to legislation were a farce and the people of Rockhampton deserved better.

“Voters should decide on who will represent them as mayor in an election – it should not be who comes second or third,” Ms Leahy said.

“This mess is entirely Labor’s fault and the new Local Government Minister needs to act fast to fix it.

“The laws were rushed through the parliament this year without any scrutiny by a committee.

“Rockhampton now faces having a mayor they did not choose and that is anti-democratic.

“The residents of Rockhampton are also unable to nominate to stand for the Mayoral vacancy.”

Labor legislative changes mean mayors would be replaced by the candidate with the next highest polling if they were to resign in the first 12 months of their term.

The runner up in the Rockhampton council election received only 31.15% of the vote in a two-horse race.

Ms Leahy also thanked Margaret Strelow for her service to Rockhampton.

“Margaret has been a strong advocate for her region for many years and the community rewarded her with re-election eight months ago,” she said.

“Rockhampton is a better place for her service and I thank her for everything she has done to move the region forward.”

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