Department of Local Government calls for robust debates around ward reviews

Department of Local Government director general Duncan Ord
Department of Local Government director general Duncan Ord

DEPARTMENT of Local Government director general Duncan Ord says he is looking forward to robust debates around council ward and representation reviews and has encouraged locals to have their say.

“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.”

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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.

Last year, Community News implored you to vote in your Local Government Election.

And you responded.

Now, we’re appealing for you to have a say on how you are represented in your local area and how the council is structured by commenting on your relevant Ward Boundary and Elected Member Representation Review.

Mr Ord said about 50 of the 137 WA local governments 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 proposals,” Mr Ord said.