Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has demanded the State Government scrap spending caps proposed for council elections and engage in genuine consultation with local government on electoral reform.
Cr Schrinner said he supported a system of fair spending caps however the current proposal – which would allow a union to spend more than four times the amount of a registered political party at the next Brisbane City Council election in 2024 – was outrageous.
The Lord Mayor said the proposed electoral cap scheme would also allow Barcoo mayoral candidates to spend up to $143 per voter while in Brisbane the figure was just 30 cents.
Cr Schrinner called on Local Government Minister Steven Miles, who is yet to publicly support the proposed local government expenditure caps, to scrap the current discussion paper and develop a new model.
“If the Labor Government was serious about electoral reform, it would have consulted with councils and come up with something fair,” he said.
“Instead, it’s produced a 30-page plan to rig the next Brisbane local government election through a farcical financial gerrymander.
“This is yet another integrity scandal for Labor. What makes this dodgy affront to democracy even worse is that they’re trying to slip it through while people are focussed on the Federal election.”
Background on proposed electoral caps
- State electorate Vs Brisbane ward spending caps: State candidates: $60,499.10 per electorate Vs Council candidates $22,751 per ward
- Registered political party state wide campaign vs Brisbane Lord Mayoral campaign: $8.9 million ($95,964.09 x 93 electorates) Vs $250,000 capped total
- Total state election spending Vs total Brisbane election spending: $14.5 million Vs $841,526 (17 times more)
- Barcoo Vs Brisbane mayoral race spending cap: $30,000 cap for 209 voters = $143 per voter Vs $250,000 cap for 788,689 voters = 30 cents per voter
- Union spending under third-party caps, State Vs Council: Up to $90,748.65 per State electorate Vs up to $146,153 per BCC ward (If all $3,822,941 allocation spend in Brisbane).
- Union cap Vs Political Party cap for 2024 Brisbane City Council election: $3,822,941 for EACH union Vs $841,526 total for a political party.