Debate resumed on motion of Samantha Ratnam (Member for Northern Metropolitan, Leader of the Greens):

That this house:
(1) acknowledges that Victoria continues to be the only jurisdiction in Australia that uses the undemocratic group voting system to elect members to this place;
(2) notes that after the 2021 Western Australian state election, where a representative from the Daylight Saving Party was elected with 98 primary votes, the re-elected Western Australian government initiated an independent review of the state’s electoral system which recommended abolishing the group voting system; and calls on the government to show similar leadership and urgently establish an independent expert panel to review Victoria’s undemocratic group voting system and make recommendations to Parliament on options
for reform.

Hansard, Victorian Legislative Council, Wed 22 February 2023

22 Feb 2023, 14:57
Legislative Council, Melbourne

Ryan Batchelor (Southern Metropolitan) resumes his seat, and the President calls for Mr Ettershank to make his remarks.

David ETTERSHANK (Western Metropolitan)

Thank you first of all to Mr Batchelor for his very thoughtful contribution on the history behind this item. We are supportive of the resolution.

The introduction of an expert panel to consider the issues of group voting tickets is appropriate. We were involved in discussions in the media prior to the election, and at that point in time we did give a public undertaking to support such a review. There are obviously significant issues associated with group voting tickets that strike both to the nature of our democracy, good and bad, and also to the integrity of our system. I think we all witnessed some moments in the media during the election campaign where the rather crude commerciality of some consultants in the electoral business was exposed, and quite clearly that has a danger associated with it of undermining public confidence in this place and our democratic process. On that basis we would be supportive of the review and look forward to hearing more in this debate.


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