- Historic moment as WA achieves electoral equality for the Legislative Council
- Electoral Equality Bill 2021 passes both Houses of Parliament
- Every voter in Western Australia to have 37 representatives in the Council from 2025
The vote of every Western Australian will be equal in the Legislative Council after Parliament passed historic electoral reforms.
The passage of the Constitutional and Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Equality) Bill through Parliament early this morning introduces a single State-wide electorate for the Upper House.
The whole-of-State electorate was the primary recommendation of the Ministerial Expert Committee tasked with reviewing WA's unfair and outdated electoral system, which saw some votes in the Legislative Council worth up to six times more than others depending on where the elector lived.
The introduction of the Electoral Equality Bill 2021 followed an open and transparent public consultation process under the Ministerial Expert Committee chaired by former Governor Malcolm McCusker AC CVO QC.
The 2021 Upper House election results exposed a broken, undemocratic system desperately in need of reform. This was a direct result of the combined effects of the opaque preference deals under the group voting tickets system and regions vote weighting whereby a vote for the Daylight Savings candidate was worth six times more than most other votes.
The move to a new whole-of-State electorate means that from the 2025 election on, every Western Australian will be represented by their local lower house member and 37 Legislative Councillors.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"This is a historic day for Western Australia.
"All Western Australians want, and indeed deserve, a fair voting system - and we are delivering just that.
"One person's vote should not be worth more than another's just because they live in a different part of the State.
"Political candidates should not be elected by engaging in the shadowy practice of preference harvesting.
"The era of unfair voting is over - electoral equality is here."
Comments attributed to Electoral Affairs Minister John Quigley:
"Under the new system of voting in the Legislative Council, the proportion of votes a political party receives will determine the proportion of seats they win.
"We have also abolished group voting tickets, which have already been abolished federally and in New South Wales and South Australia.
"It will be an adjustment for all of us to think of our Legislative Councillors representing the whole State rather than particular geographical regions.
"However, this is not a reduction in political representation but in fact the opposite.
"The new, fair system will allow a diverse range of aspiring political representatives to vie for a realistic chance at election. One State-wide electorate puts the level and range of diversity largely into the hands of the electors."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Electoral Affairs Minister's office - 6552 6800