Population growth drives electoral change
AFTER a heated debate that lasted almost half an hour, Whitsunday Regional Council has recommended that the internal division boundaries of the Whitsunday Local Government Area should be significantly altered ahead of the 2016 local government elections.
The changes, illustrated below, would see every single divisional boundary altered to allow for equal representation across the region.
At the heart of council’s recommendation – which it has submitted to the body in charge of the boundary review, the Electoral Change Commission – is that the population of the southern half of the region will continue to grow at a faster rate than the northern sector.
The review was triggered after data indicated that the population of Division 2 was out of proportion with the rest of the region.
Council’s submission has inflamed tensions within council, and in the town of Bowen.
Deputy mayor Andrew Willcox and councillors Dave Clark and Peter Ramage have come out strongly against the proposal.
The three councillors would like to see a “simple” boundary realignment between Division 2 and Division 3, leav- ing the rest of the region unchanged. Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Jennifer Whitney said the guidelines for the submission clearly stated that the proposed divisions had to cater for future growth and that a single realignment would not work.
The Electoral Change Commission is accepting submissions from the public until Friday 5pm. Email whitsunday email@example.com.
Proposed changes GROWING CONCERN: A closer look at proposed changes to the Whitsunday Regional Council's electoral boundaries.