City reviews ward boundaries
COUNCIL SEEKS PUBLIC FEEDBACK ON FOUR OPTIONS
WHILE the City of Cockburn is currently in a battle to keep its local government boundaries intact, it is open to changes internally.
The City received a letter from the Local Government Advisory Board in August calling for a review of its wards to ensure balanced councillor representation across Cockburn’s 167sq km of land and 100,000 residents.
The City’s three-ward model (west, central and east) has been in place since 1999, but things look likely to change.
After getting the green light from councillors this month, the City will now put four proposals out for public consultation. Option 1 proposes to divide the city into three strips, with the biggest change to the current format being to the west ward, which would include Munster and the industrial area of Henderson.
Option 1A would create a west ward covering older suburbs including Hamilton Hill and Spearwood, together with growth areas including North Coogee.
A new south ward would take in newer residential suburbs and industrial areas of Henderson, while an east ward would be a mix of medium age residential areas, growth areas and the semirural Banjup. Option 2 would split the city down the middle, creating west and east wards.
Proposal four includes four wards – west, north, south and east – and would include the addition of a tenth councillor, costing ratepayers an added $35,000 per annum in fees and allowances.
Cockburn’s Governance and Community Services director Don Green said the current threeward model, anecdotally, had been the favoured by councillors “as it satisfies the community of interest factor and tends to allow councillors to concentrate their efforts on more localised issues”.
“Any change will affect the current status quo to some extent, however whichever model is recommended will depend on the level of community interest and feedback received,” he said.
“If the current three-ward model is to be retained, it will be necessary for some significant changes to be made to the current ward boundaries, as indicated by the options presented for public comment.”
While councillors are not restricted from tackling issues in wards other than the one they are voted into, Mr Green said it does help them focus their efforts.
“The ward system does enable residents to contact a more localised representative if they are seeking specific advocacy on suburb-based issues,” he said
Feedback gathered during the public consultation period will influence the recommendation the City passes on to the Minister for Local Government.
A council decision is likely in February. For details, visit www.cockburn.wa.gov.au. facebook.com/ CockburnGazette
The four options for new ward boundaries from above left, with a map of the current boundaries far right.
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