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Democrats welcome Victoria's introduction of fixed parliamentary terms.



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Senator Andrew Murray Australian Democrats Spokesperson for Electoral Matters and Public Administration

18 February 2003 REVISED MEDIA RELEASE 03/089

DEMOCRATS WELCOME VICTORIA’S INTRODUCTION OF FIXED PARLIAMENTARY TERMS

The Australian Democrats today welcomed the announcement that the Victorian Government will introduce fixed four-year terms for the Victorian Parliament.

“This is great news indeed. The Australian Democrats have long advocated the benefits of fixed terms,” said Senator Andrew Murray, Democrats’ Electoral Matters spokesperson.

“Fixed terms in Parliament ensure enough time for a Government to fully implement its policy agendas.

“Elections held on a pre-determined date ensure stability and responsibility by both Government and Opposition. It will allow for sound party and independent preparation and for fairer political competition.

“Federal elections have been held on average about every 2.3 years. That means the country is having more elections than necessary, which translates into significant additional election costs of over $800 million in the last 100 years.

“Fixed terms, therefore, prevent the unnecessary waste of taxpayers dollars from being spent on snap elections.

“Victoria now joins New South Wales, Tasmania and the ACT, and various other developed nations - the United Kingdom and most European countries - who have fixed terms for Parliamentary elections.

“This is a big step forward in the on-going modernisation and reform of Australia’s electoral system,” concluded Senator Murray.

Media contact: Grace Tan (08) 9481 1455

http://www.democrats.org.au