Council adopts feedback from Ward and Representation Review

Published on Wednesday, 25 January 2023 at 2:04:53 PM

Shire of Mundaring Council considered feedback received from consultation on the Ward and Representation Review Discussion Paper and resolved to adopt ‘option one’ at its Ordinary Council Meeting on Tuesday 24 January.

The recommendation will see the Shire recommend to the Local Government Advisory Board that it maintain its current four wards, with two council members allocated per ward, and decrease the number of council members from 12 to nine, including a directly elected Shire President.

Shire of Mundaring CEO Jonathan Throssell said Council had determined option one presented the best outcome for the Shire, as the change would affect a minimal number of electors and retain the existing ward structure.

“The Local Government Advisory Board places particular emphasis on an even ratio of electors per council member where a local government is divided into wards,” he said.

“Maintaining the current ward system will see each ward maintain two councillors per ward, which is consistent with the even ratio of electors per council member.”

Ward and Representation Review

The need for a Ward and Representation Review came after the Shire was identified by the Minister for Local Government as one of 48 local governments required to reduce the number of its councillors under the new local government reforms.

“At the Ordinary Council meeting in October, Council resolved to be proactive and proceed with a voluntary pathway and commence a ward and representation review,” he said.

“Council wanted to evaluate the current arrangements and to consider alternative options to find the system of representation that is most appropriate and best suits the characteristics of the Shire and its residents, and ensure compliance with the directions from the Minister.”

The Shire received 38 responses, which is relatively high for comparable local government consultation, and is consistent with responses received for the previous review in 2016.

Mr Throssell said option one received the highest ranking of priority with 21 responses listing this as their preference.

“Eighty-four per cent of responses showed there was strong support to maintain the current ward system of four wards. Thirty-one responses supported reducing the number of councillors,” he said.

Next steps

The Shire will submit its recommendation to the Local Government Advisory Board by the Tuesday 14 February deadline.

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