Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie
Queensland Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie
Electoral Reforms For Queensland
Victor P Taffa
Reduced political party funding, anti-profiteering measures, strengthened disclosure rules and a trial of electronic voting are some of a range of electoral reforms supported in Cabinet this week.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie said the changes would save taxpayers millions of dollars.
“Changes by the Labor Government just before it was voted out of office meant more than $24 Million of taxpayers’ money would have gone to political parties during this term of government.” Mr. Bleijie said.
“We have slashed that amount by approximately half.”
“We are also preventing unscrupulous would-be politicians from profiteering from an election by raising the threshold to receive public funding from 4 % to 10 %.”
“The political donation process will also become more transparent with monthly disclosures required for any donations of more than and including $12,400.”
Mr. Bleijie said the Newman Government was now considering bringing the electoral system into the digital age.
“Subject to appropriate security arrangements and successful trials, computers could replace paper voting cards at polling booths and Queenslanders could even one day vote from the comfort of their own homes over the internet.” Mr. Bleijie said.
“The immediate priority is providing electronically assisted voting for people with disabilities.”
“We are also removing all restrictions for eligibility for postal or pre-poll votes.”
“This is about thinking outside of the ballot box so we can enhance voter participation and voting integrity.”
“One thing we won’t change is compulsory voting. It is important for all Queenslanders to have their say on polling day.” Mr. Bleijie said.
Other reforms include:
- Proof of identity required on polling day
- Removal of caps on political donations and expenditure
- How-To-Vote cards to be published on the Electoral Commission Queensland (ECQ) website
- Enabling ECQ to reject a How-To-Vote card if it is deemed misleading
Mr. Bleijie said fixing Queensland Parliamentary terms or extending them to four years was still under active consideration.
“It’s a debate we need to have.” Mr Bleijie said.
The reforms follow the Newman Government releasing a discussion green paper in January.
“More than 250 submissions were received and considered and I thank the public for having its say on this issue.” Mr. Bleijie said.