Independent ACT Senator David Pocock has welcomed the recommendation handed down in the final report by a joint parliamentary committee into the 2022 election that supports fairer representation for the territories.
Senator Pocock has been pushing for an increase in the number of territory senators arguing it should be tied proportionally to the states at a level that is more than one-third, but less than two-thirds of the number of State Senators.
While not going that far, the Committee has recommended that “the representation of the territories in the Senate be increased to four Senators, elected for a period of three years.”
“This is a huge step forward when it comes to ensuring the people of the ACT and NT have their voices heard and their interest better considered when legislation is being passed,” Senator Pocock said.
“I urge the government to still consider legislating a ratio for territory representation so that we don’t have to keep coming back and having to fight for our rights.
“But I warmly welcome the recommendation for an increase to four senators and encourage the government to commit to implementing this ahead of the next election.”
Senator Pocock said he would have liked to see the government go further in some of the other areas of sorely needed reform including on truth in political advertising and donations.
“We are well and truly in the era of mis and disinformation and it is urgent that we update our laws to ensure truth in political advertising to protect our democracy.
“When Australians go to the polls they need to do so fully informed and with the facts - not a fairytale spun by one side of politics or another.”
Senator Pocockpaid tribute to Member for Curtin Kate Chaney MP for all of her hard work serving on the committee and bringing forward the voices and experiences of community independents.