Hall and pavilion named after sitting South Perth member John McGrath won’t be used as future polling place, confirms WA Electoral Commissioner

Ernest Johnson Reserve (EJ) community facility buildings were named after South Perth MLA John McGrath.
Ernest Johnson Reserve (EJ) community facility buildings were named after South Perth MLA John McGrath.

WA Electoral Commissioner David Kerslake has assured the new hall and pavilion at Ernest Johnson Reserve, named after the current serving MLA John McGrath, will no longer be used as a polling place.

The assurances were given to South Metropolitan MLC Kate Doust last week after she wrote to both the State and Federal electoral commissioners and to the WA Minister for Electoral Affairs expressing her concern.

Ms Doust asked the WA Electoral Commission and Federal Electoral Commission to no longer use the buildings as polling places in either the State seat of South Perth or the Federal seat of Swan.

She said she had been contacted by a number of residents who expressed concern to her about the ‘captain’s call’ made by City of South Perth Mayor Sue Doherty to rename the buildings.

“Since these community buildings will be named after the sitting member for South Perth, it is no longer appropriate for them to be used as a polling place,” Ms Doust said.

“If there is still a need to locate a polling booth in this area then it would be more appropriate for another location to be chosen.”

Under the Policies and Standards for Geographical Naming in WA, if a living person is nominated for the naming of buildings, infrastructure and facilities of significance to the community, they must have contributed time, money or services to the community that were not part of their work for at least 10 years.

City of South Perth Mayor Sue Doherty said the City had not received any communication from the WA Electoral Commission regarding the use of the facilities as a polling place for elections.

“The naming of the facilities is compliant with the State Government’s Policies and Standards for Geographical Naming in WA specifically section 5.3.2,” she said.

At the City’s next Audit, Risk and Governance Meeting, a draft policy will be considered which provides guidance around naming of facilities, community consultation and an approval process.

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