Ballott ‘intimidating’

OPPONENTS of a proposed wave park in Alfred Cove are crying foul over a Melville council ballot on the issue, saying it’s been organised in a way that compromises people’s privacy and may deter them from participating.

The council decided to hold a postal ballot after being swamped by about 650 residents who attended a special electors meeting at the council’s chambers last week (“Council swamped,” Herald, January 28, 2017).

But because the local government act forbids secret electors’ votes, the council says “all votes will be recorded against the voter’s name and made available for viewing by a member of the public on request.

But resident David Maynier says that’s unfair and intimidating, as voting patterns aren’t recorded at electors’ meetings so only those who attend can tell.

“There is no requirement that each vote should be made public,” says Mr Maynier.

“It is also an invasion of privacy. The city may not, on grounds of privacy, release the names of people attending an electors’ meeting without the consent of the individuals concerned.

“To threaten not only to publicise the names of the attendees, but their votes as well, is a gross infraction of this principle.”

Mr Maynier says he’s already been contacted by other residents concerned about their privacy and considering withholding their ballot.

The Herald has also heard concerns some attendees didn’t receive ballots. If you were at the meeting and didn’t get one, give us a call on 9430 7727.

The Chook didn’t hear about the issue until late and whipped off an email to Melville’s media department, but a response isn’t likely until next issue.


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