Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

18 March 2020

Elise Archer, Attorney-General

Legislative Council elections safe to proceed

The Tasmanian Government and the Tasmanian Electoral Commissioner publicly stated yesterday that there are significant measures being put in place to maintain public safety during the upcoming Legislative Council elections.

The 2020 Legislative Council Elections for the divisions of Huon and Rosevears are an essential part of Tasmania’s democratic system.

Current Public Health advice is that there is no barrier to conducting the election other than to ensure appropriate measures are applied and processes changed, where needed, to minimise the risk of infection.

Therefore, based on this expert advice, the elections should proceed as scheduled.

The Queensland Labor Government and the Electoral Commission of Queensland, currently overseeing their statewide local government elections, have no doubt received similar advice and are proceeding with these elections with a wide variety of risk management procedures in place. This includes increased hygiene measures, and greater access to postal voting and pre-polling venues.

There are arrangements already in place to provide safe options in the elections, including:

  1. postal voting will be available as it is at every election in Tasmania; and
  2. the TEC is now putting in place measures to significantly increase awareness and capability for postal voting for these upcoming elections. They will also be doing the same for pre-polling and the venues required;
  3. the TEC will also be introducing measures to further facilitate social distancing and good personal hygiene practices for all staff and voters at polling booths which may include things like additional supplies (such as pencils and hand sanitisers).

I will continue to take the best and most up to date advice from the experts and will keep Tasmanians informed as this situation develops.

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