FORMER long-serving MLC and former Launceston mayor, Don Wing, has panned the state government's proposed local government changes.
He has labelled the proposals insulting and a distraction from true local government reform through amalgamations.
The state government on Sunday announced draft changes to the Local Government Act that included individual councils opting in or out for compulsory voting, a ban on councillors holding another government role, an extension of mayors and deputy mayor terms and for all councillors to be up for election at the same time, rather than having half the council elected every two years.
The changes are set to be adopted in 2015.
Mr Wing said the changes were hardly reformative, labelling them ``a mish-mash of ill-thought policy''.
He said the changes could be a distraction by the government from the real issue of reducing the number of Tasmanian councils.
The government has said it would not force council amalgamations but remained open to voluntary mergers.
Mr Wing served as a Launceston alderman from 1979 until 1991, including four years as mayor from 1983.
He was elected as an MLC from 1981 until 2011.
Mr Wing said democratically, no government should impose a rule that a councillor not serve in another level of government.
``Frankly it's insulting to the community,'' he said.
``Voters are discerning and they should be able to make that decision for themselves.
``The Legislative Council is a full-time job and being a councillor is not, and councillors are not paid on the basis of it being a full-time job.''
He said compulsory voting in some councils and not others could cause confusion in Launceston's outer suburbs, resulting in lower voter participation.
Mr Wing said four-year mayoral terms were longer than necessary and that all-in, all-out elections could open local government elections up further to party politics.
Latrobe's Michael Gaffney is the only mayor to serve dual roles.
He was elected to the Legislative Council as an independent in 2009 and said he would recontest his seat as mayor in the coming elections - a seat he has held for a decade.
He said there were benefits for the community in having a leader with a tie to another level of government.