Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has welcomed support for Senate electoral reform by Liberal Party federal director Brian Loughnane and outgoing Labor Senator Bob Carr.
“There is now a widespread sentiment that our Senate voting system needs an overhaul, including the support of more than 2000 Australians who have signed The Greens ‘Reform Senate Voting’ petition,” Senator Rhiannon said.
“We must end the backroom preference deals to safeguard the standing of the Senate.
“The Greens have consistently called for the abolishment of Group Voting Tickets that take preference decisions out of the hands of voters. The Greens proposal does not limit who can stand in elections. Former Senator Bob Brown made repeated attempts to have this reform legislated.
“In my discussions with representatives of other parties there appears to be a strong appetite for reform.
“The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters will play a key role in advancing these reforms. I will be requesting that the Greens private members bill for optional preferential above the line voting be considered as part of the JSCEM deliberations on Senate electoral reform.
“In 1999 my Greens plan for Optional Preferential Above-The-Line Voting for the NSW Upper House was agreed to by the state parliament.
“The Greens are keen to work with other parties on this federal reform,” Senator Rhiannon said.
Response to voter identification and enrolment comments by Brian Loughnane
“We are concerned with reports today that the Liberals are considering tightening voter identification laws and enrolment procedures. The Liberals have form in this area – of pursuing changes that make it harder for disadvantaged and minority groups to participate in elections. We will be strongly resisting changes that limit voter participation,” Senator Rhiannon said.