The state government appears to be backing away from key aspects of a bill for overhauling elections for the City of Sydney, including reconsidering a controversial proposal to give businesses two votes. Parliament was set to debate the bill on Wednesday. But it was pulled from the agenda. Last-minute changes to several of its key measures are now being considered. “There are a range of amendments being considered,” said MP Gareth Ward, who chaired the parliamentary committee that first recommended the changes.”We as a government are looking at the entirety of the legislation.” The bill was introduced by the Shooters and Fishers Party and, until now, with the government’s backing.
Mr Ward confirmed the government was considering keeping businesses at one vote while making an amendment to ensure that small business owners are not disenfranchised – a potential problem with the legislation reported by Fairfax last week.
In August, Premier Mike Baird spoke favourably about a draft proposal to give businesses two votes. Giving businesses a double vote – a model that was adopted by Melbourne’s city council – has the potential to sink Lord Mayor Clover Moore’s political stronghold by flooding elections with tens of thousands of new, more conservative electors.
The government will still press ahead with changes to make it compulsory for businesses to vote.
Full Article: City of Sydney voting: NSW government cancels debate on bill.