Healthy increase in turnout for NSWALC election

2 November 2015

Healthy increase in turnout for NSWALC election

New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) Chief Executive Officer Lesley Turner today thanked Local Aboriginal Land Council members for increasing voter turnout in the State-wide elections held on Saturday.

Mr Turner said voter turnout for this year's election increased by 7 percent compared to the 2011 election.

"NSWALC appreciates the efforts of so many people in the Land Rights network who worked hard to encourage people to vote.

"Voting in NSWALC elections is not compulsory, like many other membership-based organisations, so to have more than 33 percent of our members turn out on Saturday and vote for Land Rights is encouraging.

Mr Turner said the result also compared favourably with ATSIC and some local government elections.

ATSIC turnout across Australia ranged from 21.6 percent in 1990 to 24.1 percent in 1996.

Prior to the introduction of postal voting in local government elections, turnout was 21 percent in South Australia, 25 percent in Tasmania and as low as 15 percent in Western Australia.

Mr Turner said NSWALC was also pleased with the number of Aboriginal people who were employed as election staff on the day.

"Of the 287 election staff members who worked at polling booths throughout New South Wales, 198 or 67 percent were Aboriginal.

"By working with the NSW Electoral Commission, we hope to increase the number of Aboriginal people working at all elections, local, State and NSWALC elections," Mr Turner said.

Results for the election of nine councillors to represent NSWALC will be finalised later this week following the counting and distribution of preferences.

On Saturday, eligible voting members of Local Aboriginal Land Councils voted for candidates to represent nine regions: Central, Mid-North Coast, North Coast, North Western, Northern, South Coast, Sydney/Newcastle, Western and Wiradjuri.

Across the regions, 46 candidates stood for the election which is held every four years.

Elected Councillors are responsible for setting the strategic direction of NSWALC and making decisions on a range of important issues affecting Aboriginal people in New South Wales.

Media contact: Andrew Williams 0429 585 291