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Sydney Morning Herald misinformed and incorrect on Senate voting reform

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 7 May 2015

Commenting on a Sydney Morning Herald report (http://tinyurl.com/p4fvyt5) that suggests the Greens are split on the question of Senate voting reform and would back a "minimum vote threshold", Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

"The only thing made clear in yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald story is the fact that Mr Aston's unnamed source is wildly disconnected from Greens members and MPs.

"This unnamed Greens source has misinformed the journalist who wrote this story and it would be wise for journalists to take into account their intentions before publishing inaccurate information as fact.

"Abolishing group voting tickets and returning control over preferences to voters has been Greens policy for decades and is unanimously supported by Greens MPs.

"Greens members democratically resolved to make Senate voting reform a key Parliamentary priority at the party's national conference.

"Senate voting reform in the form of optional preferential voting is not intended to squeeze out minor parties, it is intended to end the party backroom deals on preferences and allow voters to directly determine their preference allocation.

"Contrary to the suggestion in Mr Aston's article, the Greens do not support the implementation of arbitrary vote thresholds - our proposal is the abolition of group voting tickets and the introduction of optional preferential voting.

"It is very odd to see the recent self-interested backlash for reform led by David Leyonhjelm, a self-described creator of front parties, and those whose business model relies on manipulating the system being used as justification by so-called "Greens sources" to stymie democratic changes to the system.

"The Greens will continue to work with all political parties and cross benchers to pass these reforms, to protect the rights of small parties and ensure voters control their preferences.

Contact: Brami Jegan 0487 350 880

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