Call to change system rejected

CALLS for Tweed voters to be allowed to decide on whether the mayor is elected by the people or by fellow councillors have been rejected by most Tweed Shire councillors.

Former mayor Joan van Lieshout failed in a bid at Tuesday night’s council meeting to hold a referendum on the issue at the 2012 council election.

Cr van Lieshout’s request for a referendum, which would not have resulted in any change to the voting system until the 2016 election, was backed only by Greens party councillor Katie Milne and Barry Longland.

Under the current system councillors vote for a mayor each September, but a popularly elected mayor would be chosen for four-year terms by the people at each council election, or if necessary, at a by-election.

Another former mayor, Warren Polglase, said other councils with popularly elected mayors were wracked by division. “The Federal Government elects the Prime Minister by the government of the day. The state government elects their leader the same way,” Cr Polglase said.



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