Press Statement from DBP President, Stephan Gyory - 15/08/2014

The Darlinghurst Business Partnership unequivocally supports the right of businesses to vote in the City of Sydney Council Elections.

It must not be forgotten that businesses are part of the fabric of this community and for too long they have invested in this fine city and contributed a disproportionately large amount of the City‘s rates, with a far from adequate voice in the democracy.

The current voting system is hopelessly flawed; where hard to find forms, a lack of awareness, a dearth of information on how to vote and a cyclically purged non-residential roll have rendered the business vote inconsequential.

It is clear that taxing a portion of the electorate without offering them a voice in the political process is not only wrong but detrimental to both Sydney’s civic and economic life. Change is long overdue and through grass roots activism by concerned business people over the last two election cycles, the matter was finally being given the consideration it deserved by the current government.

It is therefore nothing short of partisan game-playing for the Shooters Party’s Robert Borsak to hijack this important cause for his own parochial machinations. To twist such an important issue to his own ends in a vindictive attack on the incumbent Mayor shows a startling ignorance of Sydney’s political history. It also takes the focus off what is truly important.

The right for businesses to vote in the Sydney Local Government elections is, and always has been, enshrined in the Sydney Act. The method by which that has been achieved up until now is deficient.

Mr Borsak’s draft amendment is a rush-job.

The Darlinghurst Business Partnership calls for bipartisan debate and a refinement of the amendment to take into consideration the concerns raised by the Lord Mayor and opposition parties, while ensuring that business, whose rates put Sydney in the black every year, obtain equal treatment under the law.

Sydney businesses want to vote. Sydney businesses want to contribute. Sydney businesses want to be heard at Town Hall. A fair and equitable compulsory vote that does not ostracise residents OR businesses is the only way to achieve this.

Stephan R. Gyory

DBP President, Resident, Business Owner

Julty 2014 - Sydney needs a business electoral roll

The Shooter’s Party have naively linked the issue of business voting with their anti-Clover message.

This should be a bipartisan bill but their actions will allow the Lord Mayor to paint this very important legislation as an anti-Clover attack, which she has done.

This is not political legislation!!! And the DBP would never tell its members how to vote.

Business pays 79% of all the city’s rates and yet is excluded from the political process. This is not fair and to the detriment of Sydney and the reasons used to oppose this legislation just don't stack up.

That a business electoral roll would lead to fraud.

This is a slight on the NSW Electoral Commission.

That business can claim the vote if they want.

This disingenuous at best, considering how convoluted the process is and how unwilling the City of Sydney was, at the last election, to provide businesses with their Rate Assessment Numbers, which they need to claim their vote.

The Melbourne experience has shown that, far from being a burden, businesses relish the chance to engage in the politics of their city and that residential amenity improves when this happens because businesses need residents and business knows this.

PLEASE take a moment to contact the minister and let him know you support your right to have a say in the future of the city you contribute so mightily to.

The Hon. Paul Toole, MP
Minister for Local Government
Level 33 Governor Macquarie Tower
1 Farrer Place

If you have time, also contact the Premier or tweet him