De­bate wel­come

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - Jes­sica War­riner

DE­PART­MENT of Lo­cal Govern­ment di­rec­tor gen­eral Dun­can Ord says he is look­ing for­ward to ro­bust de­bates around coun­cil ward and rep­re­sen­ta­tion re­views.

“We love it when it works beau­ti­fully, but only get up­set when it doesn’t,” he said.

“Th­ese changes are im­por­tant in lo­cal gov­ern­ments with wards.”

The ward and rep­re­sen­ta­tion re­views are re­quired at least ev­ery eight years in coun­cils with wards. The re­views ex­am­ine whether the coun­cil still has rel­a­tive equal rep­re­sen­ta­tion, where res­i­dents’ votes hold the same value no mat­ter where they live in the lo­cal govern­ment area.

Mr Ord said about 50 of the 137 WA lo­cal gov­ern­ments – usu­ally the older coun­cils – had a ward sys­tem.

“Eight years seems to have worked well in WA – I don’t be­lieve we’ve had any ma­jor dis­tor­tions within that pe­riod,” he said.

There are re­views underway at the cities of Vin­cent, Subiaco, Stir­ling and Fre­man­tle ahead of the next round of lo­cal govern­ment elec­tions in 2019.

“I’m keen to see good trans­parency and that the com­mu­nity are given good in­for­ma­tion about the mer­its and ben­e­fits of dif­fer­ent pro­pos­als around hav­ing wards or not,” Mr Ord said.

Dun­can Ord

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