Letter to Minister Hoenig on ‘double votes for business’

Friends of Erskineville recently wrote to Ron Hoenig, the Minister for Local Government, about the undemocratic City of Sydney voting rules that give businesses double votes.

The issue was raised recently in parliament and appeared on the ABC TV news: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko5mCFfAXkE

FoE’s view is that nobody should be able to vote more than once or in multiple local government areas.

Please sign our change.org petition here: https://www.change.org/p/one-vote-one-value.


Dear Minister Hoenig,

We write to you in your capacity as Minister for Local Government.

We welcome your recent comments (1) in parliament regarding the City of Sydney Amendment (Elections) Bill 2014. We too agree that this law which gives business owners double votes in the City of Sydney is undemocratic. We also welcome your intention to engage in consultation with stakeholders.

Since 2016, the Friends of Erskineville, along with other resident groups in the City of Sydney, Alexandria Residents Action Group, REDWatch and Chippendale Residents Interest Group have been campaigning against this bill. We have an online petition to scrap the bill which so far has over 700 signatures:

We also organised a public forum with Stephen Blanks from the NSW Council for Civil Liberties in 2021 which can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6gj2d7S7BU

The meeting passed the following unanimous motion:
“This meeting declares that the amendments made by the City of Sydney Amendment (Elections) Bill 2014 to the City of Sydney Act are undemocratic and violate the self-evident principle of one vote one value. We call upon the NSW state government to repeal them as soon as possible.”

We ask that in addition to repealing the Bill, that you introduce reforms that enshrine the principle of ‘one vote one value’ that ensures that nobody can vote more than once or in multiple local government areas.

We request that your consultation is thorough and seeks the views of all residents and the many resident action groups active in the City of Sydney.

We look forward to your response on these matters.
(1) https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/Hansard/Pages/HansardResult.aspx#/docid/HANSARD-1323879322-131480/link/97

Update 28/6/2023:
FoE received this response via the Office of Local Government. It thanks us for sharing our views and states that the government is “currently consulting with key stakeholders on possible reforms to the City of Sydney’s non-residential elector franchise”.

2 Replies to "Letter to Minister Hoenig on 'double votes for business'"

  • Beth KOOREY
    13/06/2023 (3:05 pm)

    It’s ridiculous and so unfair to residents outside of ….well 2000. It’s about time we opened up CoS spaces for residents of all ages, for connection..

  • Friends of Erskineville | 2023-24 new member drive
    29/09/2023 (11:52 am)

    […] polling residents to ensure your top issues were covered. – Won our campaign to abolish ‘double votes for business‘ in the City of Sydney council election, with legislation passing NSW parliament in Sept […]

Got something to say?

Some html is OK