City re­views ward bound­aries


Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS - Bryce Luff

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.cock­ face­ Cock­burnGazett­e

The four op­tions for new ward bound­aries from above left, with a map of the cur­rent bound­aries far right.


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