Surprise move in Queensland Parliament for return of compulsory preferential voting

The Palaszczuk Government has turned the tables on the Opposition by moving to return compulsory preferential voting during a debate on expanding Queensland Parliament.

Parliament is considering a Liberal National Party bill to increase the number of state MPs from 89 to 93.

The minority Labor Government is against the move and voted against it, but the two MPs from Katter's Australian Party MP and Cairns independent Rob Pyne want the extra four seats.

However, in a surprise move, Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath then proposed an amendment to the Electoral (Improving Representation) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill this afternoon to also include the reintroduction of compulsory preferential voting.

The former Goss Labor government made it voluntary for electors to mark every box on their ballot forms in 1992.

Opposition MPs are strenuously arguing against the change and have accused the State Government of being opportunistic and ignoring the rights of the community to have a say on the bill.

Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg said the proposal should go to a committee for consideration.

It remains to be seen if the Labor amendment would be supported by the Katter MPs and Mr Pyne.

ABC elections analyst Antony Green tweeted: "On my estimates, Labor would have won an extra 9 seats at the 2015 Qld election under full preferential voting."

Source: ABC News

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