Speech to Local Government Managers Association

May 14, 2009

Local Government Managers Association.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

“Local government and Greens WA Luncheon Event”

I would like to begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land we are meeting on, the Swan Valley people of the Nungah Nation.

I also wish to support the Nungah Nation and indigenous heritage rights by advising via this forum that I will not attend further functions at this place, Gooin-in-up, an area of development that caused great hurt to the Nungah peoples on a number of occasions since it’s first desecration in 1838.

Greens position on Local Government.

  • local government recognised in the Commonwealth constitution, in a future Western Australian Constitution and given an enhanced role and revenue base
  • the Local Government Act amended to require the principles of ecological sustainable development in Agenda 21 be the basis of local government policy
  • local government elections to be based on preferential voting under a system of proportional representation the principle of one vote, one value be the aim in drawing ward boundaries when proportional representation is not used
  • postal voting used by all in all local governments
  • council meetings and deliberations to be as open and transparent as possible
  • all council committees open to the public with agendas published in advance, minutes published, and opportunities for ratepayers to address meetings;
  • the reform of local government structures and practices advanced by the principles in the WA Local Government Association's report The Journey: Sustainability into the Future


The Journey: Sustainability into the Future
Proposes as an alternative to amalgamations, that of regional service delivery and appropriate local representation. This process would see groups of local governments establishing joint provision of technical and specialist services to achieve economies of scale. WALGA proposes appropriate reforms of the Local Government Act to this end

FIRST PAST THE POST VOTING as opposed to the popular vote. 

First-past-the-post voting system means that to become an elected member, a candidate simply has to win more votes than any rival in their area, not a majority of votes cast. In an 8 candidate race a candidate can achieve just 13% of the vote and win in a FPP election, against 87% of the votes that may be riled against him or her.

Hitler never had more than 37 percent of the popular vote in the honest elections that occurred before he became Chancellor. And the opposition among the 63 percent that voted against him was united and strong. Hitler therefore would have never seen the light of day had the German Republic been truly democratic voting system and not first past the post.

More recently the popular vote in England actually saw the Conservatives parties getting more support than Labour, yet Labour won nearly 100 more seats using FPP voting.

Labor attained 35.4% of the vote with the Conservatives getting 35.7% and Lib Democrats gaining 22.9% and yet FPP skewed the result to ascribe Labour with 54.1% of the seats.

England has tried to change their electoral system to Proportional Representation but have never attained the 60% majority required under the constitution.

George Bush and Al Gore using the confusing collage vote system of FPP is another classic example of the looser defeating the person who had achieved the highest % of the vote.

George W. Bush



Al Gore



Ralph Nader



The Portfolio areas that I will be covering besides Local Government are:

Energy & Climate Change;
Mines and Petroleum;
State Development & Industry;
Nuclear Issues;
Waste Management;
Ports; Pastoral Issues;
Aboriginal Issues;
Racing and Gaming; and
Regional Sustainability

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