TRANSITION PROVISIONS STATEMENT
- Extend caretaker period a further month
- Seek Councillors to stay on and assist
- Convert to a full postal vote OR online (retain existing votes)
- Second Former CEO John Knaggs to bring his experience back into Council
- Announce NO fines, effectively making the election voluntary
There is little that is coming out from the ECQ that appears to be either truthful or accurate ATM.
The central premise of what they are saying is that there is legal impediments to the election being extended, whereas the State Government clearly has extraordinary powers in time of crisis - as this is declared to be. The messages are wholly inconsistent.They HAVE admitted, through Mark Jameison on Monday, that they usually have 10% postal votes. We have around 225,000 registered voters which means with extras they have printed apx 30,000 postal votes.Caretaker Mayor Jamesion advised media on Monday that 95,000 applications (and continuing) were lodged. It is to be remembered that ECQ and Council were encouraging people to take such a postal vote step.It is NOW clear that there IS a massive postal vote shortfall and that appears to be driving ECQ decisions, rather than good health and safety provisions. That will bring with it a further problem in that the poll result will NOT be able to be declared at any time soon after the 28th March because those huge numbers of postal votes will have to wait to come in. It would probably be mid to late April.It appears that State Government is essentially seeking to advantage incumbents in so far as they are essentially seeking for there to be no changes ATM, which is completely at odds with a community sentiment for change.
Change, at the time of crisis, can NOT have any other possible effect than to cause more unnecessary disturbance and disruption. An incoming Council which could potentially have 11 new people, with at least four new councillors already, will not be adequately prepared for the crisis.
The only appropriate step is to enter an extension of the caretaker period, whilst a safe and sensible transition is negotiated. Health MUST be paramount. Reports of HTV people physically touching, re-use of HTV cards, and worst (for me) that these booths are not ventilated effectively meaning that voters are being compulsorily made to breath the air of all other voters before them on the day.Apparently 4,000 people have been through one of the prepolls in one day. I'm not sure how that satisfies the now reducing congregation limits like 500? Crowd sizes are being reduced again TODAY!
It is a human right NOT to be exposed to ill health in the pursuit of a democratic right or duty.
Today I am writing to ALL existing Councillors to ask that they stand ready to continue as caretaker managers until the crisis becomes clearer. I am also writing, again, to the Sun Central Chairman and asking that former CEO John Knaggs be seconded back to Council to take over as CEO for two years whilst a replacement for the suddenly quit Whittaker is found. Effective Immediately. We need experience and cool heads in a time of crisis.I suggest that this be for around six weeks. Apx two till 28th March, two further to allow for the postal telephone vote debacle to be fixed up, and a further two weeks with outgoing Councillors acting as mentors and assisting where practicable in the crisis.
A plan for a smooth transition for change, but without the risks of doing so in manner that could quite realistically compound the problems for all of us.
Obviously, I want a change of leader.I would be letting the community down if I thought that wish should force change through at a time when their primary need is stability and safety. I expect there to be some far more serious logistical issues regarding food and household commodities unfolding from today.Stability is key ATM. Safety. AND the health of our community.