Historic laws giving Western Australians equal voting rights have passed through State Parliament.
Electoral Affairs Minister Jim McGinty said the final hurdle for the one vote one value laws was cleared last night, with the Legislative Council passing the Constitution and Electoral Amendment Bill 2005, which increased the number of members in the Legislative Assembly.
“The antiquated vote weighting system that existed only in WA is now a thing of the past,” Mr McGinty said.
“It was simply unfair that a vote in the country was worth two, three and even four times that of a person voting in Perth.
“Every citizen in WA will now have an equal say in electing their Government, no matter where they live.
“The principle of one vote one value is a fundamental right enjoyed by every other State and Territory in Australia.
“I commend the Labor Party, the Greens and Alan Cadby for ensuring the passage of the legislation through Parliament.”
The reform to the State’s electoral system will increase the number of seats in the Legislative Assembly from 57 to 59, with each electorate containing an approximately equal number of voters.
The change will result in 42 seats in the metropolitan area (up from 34) and 17 in the country areas (down from 23).
Each electorate will have a quotient of 21,343 voters, with a 10 per cent tolerance either way.
Mr McGinty said an exception would apply for geographically large electorates with a land area of 100,000 km� or more, to consider the remote and vast regions of WA.
In those large electorates, the tolerance would be 20 per cent below the average electorate enrolment, rather than 10 per cent. An allowance of 1.5 per cent of the land area would be added to the electoral enrolment to give a notion enrolment.
“These large seats cover more than 87 per cent of the State’s land area, so it is important that people who live in these regions are properly represented,” the Minister said.
There will also be an increase in the number of members in the Legislative Council from 34 to 36 with six members to come from each region, regardless of the number of electors.
The model for the Legislative Council is not the Government’s preferred option. Instead, it is an alternative proposed by the Greens and agreed to by the Government in order to ensure the passage of the legislation through both Houses of State Parliament.
Minister's office: 9220 5000