Byron mayor Simon Richardson
Byron mayor Simon Richardson

One person one vote (or two votes if you're a corporation)

A CHANGE to the Local Government Act that would give corporations two votes to residents' one vote in Sydney local government elections is being opposed by Byron Shire Council.

Councillors have voted to write to Premier Mike Baird, Local Government Minister Paul Toole, Opposition Leader John Robertson and the state's political parties to request the withdrawal of the proposed change to City of Sydney Amendment (Elections) Bill 2014.

Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson said the issue was not only about Sydney City. The amendment had a clause that could see it roll out across all NSW local government areas.

"Democracy for all its flaws has the general rule of one person one vote," Cr Richardson said.

"The proposed changes to Sydney City will make local government election voting mandatory for business - with corporations actually having two votes.

"We could find we have the scenario that a property has a vote and the lessors, who could be two or more, also have votes.

"There is provision for up to six votes per property. This could allow business industries to have a strong voice on local government issues."


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