Council creates new North Coast ward

They picked the name after adjourning the March 3 meeting to discuss options for the proposed ward that will encompass most suburbs in the present north and coastal wards.

All but one councillor voted in favour of the overall motion to realign ward boundaries and have three rather than four wards, with the other two retaining their ‘central’ and ‘south’ names.

South ward gains Gnangara from central ward, and Central ward gains Carramar, Banksia Grove, Neerabup, Nowergup, Carabooda and Pinjar from North ward.

The remaining North ward suburbs will merge with Coastal ward suburbs into the North Coast ward.

At the meeting, Deputy Mayor Dot Newton said it was the second realignment of ward boundaries since she joined the council, when there used to be seven wards.

While it meant each ward would be bigger, Cr Brett Treby said long-serving councillors were used to dealing with changes.

‘It’s not about us, it’s about what is better for the broader community,’ he said.

‘What it deals with are key communities of interest.

‘The North ward, having the community interest along the coast, is absolutely critical.’

Cr Treby said people in the North ward suburbs of Yanchep and Two Rocks identified more with people in Mindarie or Quinns Rocks than those in Carramar or Banksia Grove.

Cr Linda Aitken said she opposed the changes as ‘moving boundaries all the time’ did not benefit residents and would result in the North Coast ward being ‘very large with a huge population’ by 2021.

Cr Dianne Guise said while there would be significant growth in the North Coast area, populations would also rise in the other wards through infill development, east Wanneroo and the north-east subdivisions.

‘It’s only when it gets to 2021 we start to see some shift (in the councillor-to-electors ratio),’ she said.

‘By then we should be planning again (for another review).’

The City will submit its recommended changes to the Local Government Advisory Board and ask for changes to be implemented before the October local government elections.

The council agreed in order to transition to the new wards, those Coastal ward councillors whose terms do not end in 2015 would be allocated to the North Coast ward, while those in the South and Central wards would remain the same.

The Local Government Act requires half the number of councillor terms in each ward to expire every two years.

It is likely to mean there will be three positions for candidates to contest in the South, two in Central and two in North Coast come October.