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Election talk puts heat on Abbott to move on Senate voting reform

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 19 Mar 2015

As talk of the next election and a possible double dissolution heats up, Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has called on the Abbott government to get its priorities right and make Senate voting reform a priority for the coming sitting weeks.

“Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been sitting on a parliamentary report that recommends optional preferential voting for the Senate. It is time the government moved on this important reform”, Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

“Optional preferential voting would end the party backroom deals on preferences and allow voters to directly determine their preference allocation. 

“This reform does not impact on the democratic right of minor parties to stand for election.

“These reforms are urgently needed to help restore public confidence in our democratic institutions. 

“The Prime Minister received the report of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters last April.

“He should stop dragging the chain on Senate voting reform.

“The recommendation for optional preferential voting received multi-party support. 

“The recent Senate election saw some Senators elected with less than one per cent of the vote and voters finding their preferences allocated to parties they did not support,” Senator Rhiannon said.

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