Status quo in uncertain times
AFTER a year of speculation, City of Subiaco councillors voted on Tuesday night to not reduce its number of councillors or to adjust ward boundaries.
Cr Stephanie Stroud’s motion to reduce the number of councillors from 11 to eight was rejected, as was fellow North Ward councillor Peter Mcallister’s motion to reduce the number to 10.
The council voted 6-5 on both motions, but an absolute majority of seven was needed.
The proposal to reduce the number of councillors to eight and follow a four-ward structure went out for public consultation last year, with 83 per cent of the 111 submissions received from residents in support of the move.
Cr Stroud said in November it would be “a slap in the face” if the council did not listen to the community, and echoed those sentiments again last night.
“It’s what the residents want,” she said. Subiaco resident Paul Netscher said it was unnecessary to have 11 councillors for Subiaco’s population.
“There are 870 residents per councillor in Subiaco,” he said. “In comparison to Cambridge, where there are 2300 residents per councillor, and Nedlands there’s 1700.
“It defies logic and it’s insulting, as well as irresponsible in the current economic climate.”
However, Daglish resident Jude Rowohlt argued that councillor workloads would increase, resulting in residents and ratepayers having fewer councillors to lobby for them on important issues.
“Who will stand up for the disadvantaged residents of Subiaco?” she said.
“We have the issues looming of the State Government Town Planning Act, as well as Subiaco Oval. “Keeping strong now is vital.”
Cr Mark Burns said he did not want to reduce the number of councillors for a number of reasons.
“No-one knows what the new Government, or anyone, is going to do,” he said.
“I am not willing to place Subiaco in the hands of others who don’t know what they want.
“It’s not about the fact I want more councillors; I just do not believe in dealing with the unknown in times of political flux.”
Chief executive Don Burnett said another review could go ahead after the local government election in October.