Ward boundary changes rile Stirling councillors

City of Stirling's council office.
City of Stirling's council office.

THERE was heated debate when Stirling councillors considered changes to ward boundaries this month.

As part of a required review of ward boundaries, the City found voters were underrepresented in Doubleview and overrepresented in Hamersley.

Its report, presented at the December 4 council meeting, sought support to keep the current ward structure and make a minor realignment of the boundary between the Coastal, Doubleview and Hamersley wards.

This would transfer 2337 electors from the Coastal and Doubleview wards to Hamersley.

But Cr Andrew Guilfoyle said 45 per cent of public submissions preferred option C, with only eight of the 116 submissions supporting the City’s proposed option B.

The next popular choice was for a four-ward structure, with 23 per cent of voters in favour.

Governance manager Jamie Blanchard said the option was recommended based on “balancing various factors against complex issues” and it met the most criteria.

Cr Stephanie Proud believed council should vote in accordance with the majority of respondents and that the proposal would represent a “major” change, not minor as the report stated.

Cr Karen Caddy said she did not think most voters were bothered which ward they were in but Cr Karlo Perkov argued they cared and not to “belittle the 116 respondents”.

The City’s recommendation was lost 6-8 and council instead voted 9-5 for the popular option to realign the boundary between the Coastal, Doubleview, Osborne and Hamersley wards.

This will transfer 1576 voters in Karrinyup from Coastal to Hamersley and 1148 voters in Wembley from Doubleview to Osborne.

But according to the report, it did not satisfy all the factors required by the Local Government Advisory Board.

The board will need to approve the changes.