Council votes for changes to wards and representation

Published on Wednesday, 24 October 2018 at 12:28:17 PM

Following a review of wards and representation Council has decided to move away from the current ward system and reduce their numbers to 12.

At the Ordinary Council Meeting last night Councillors also decided to retain a popularly elected Mayor, as they believe the community should be able to choose their civic leader.

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said the move to no wards with a full spill of 12 positions at the 2019 election was made as it is the simplest and most democratic form of representation.

“A no ward system eliminates any confusion around ward boundaries and effectively brings our urban and rural areas together,” he said.

“This means urban based Councillors will have to step up and to get to know and understand the issues of our rural residents and ensure they are brought to the table if they want to be elected.

“Putting all Councillors up for re-election in 2019 also gives residents the opportunity to choose the 12 people they believe will best represent the entire community, not just their ward.”

Retaining 12 positions on Council will ensure equity and accountability in a no ward system.

“The City region is geographically large with numerous communities of interest, all of whom every Councillor must equally and effectively represent,” said Mayor Van Styn.

“This means there will be a considerable increase in Councillor workloads all of which they will still be held accountable for across the board.”

Council’s resolution regarding wards and representation will now be submitted to the Local Government Advisory Board for assessment against the requirements of the Local Government Act for consideration.  The Board’s recommendations regarding the review will then be submitted to the Minister for further review. The Minister’s recommendations will then go to the Governor who will make the final determination on wards and Councillor representation in the City of Greater Geraldton.

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