Ward Boundary and Name Changes

The City recently undertook a review of it Ward Boundaries and Elected Member Representation, with the Council resolving in February 2017 to retain a six ward structure, with modified boundaries along with two Councillors representing each ward and a popularly elected Mayor.

The changes were supported by the Local Government Advisory Board, the Minister for Local Government and the Governor and gazetted on 30 June 2017.

Please note this map is indicative only.

To confirm your Ward, check your enrolment online at www.elections.wa.gov.au/onlineEnrolmentSystem

A summary of the changes in ward boundaries

What's happening?

We are preparing to review the City of Melville ward system. Currently, we have six wards with two Councillors per ward for a total of 12 Councillors. We have prepared a discussion paper which puts forward six options for community comment.

Two of the six options propose a reduction in the number of Councillors, which has its own advantages and disadvantages. Other options propose a reduction in the number of wards. Click on the 'Get Involved' tab to tell us what you think.

Why is the review happening?

The Local Government Act 1995 sets out requirements which we must abide by.

One requirement is for local governments with wards to carry out a review at least every eight years. As our last review was in November 2008 and the 2017 Local Government Elections are coming up, now's a good time to have a new review.

This is also an opportunity for you to provide your suggestions on the direction you'd like us to take. While we're not the final decision maker, we'll use your feedback to present a report to the Local Government Advisory Board for their consideration.

Why can't the wards stay as they are?

They could, but it's not up to us to decide that.

The Local Government Advisory Board sets out recommendations around the ratio between the number of Councillors to the number of Electors (rate-payers living in the ward). This is to ensure similar levels of representation across all wards.

Since our last review in 2008 we've had an increase in the number of electors. This has meant that one of our wards (University Ward) is outside of the permitted deviation.

The Local Government Advisory Board may therefore take steps to rectify this should Option 1 (maintaining the current ward system and ward boundaries) receive the most community support.

What do all the options look like?

Please refer to the image below for a representation of the options outlined in the discussion paper.

View a larger version of the below image.

What about the option of having no wards?

There is no requirement for us to have wards.

If the Local Government Advisory Board abolished all wards, all Councillors would represent the entire City of Melville, rather than a particular ward. This would mean members of the community who want to approach a Councillor can speak to any Councillor, rather than only a Councilor who lives locally to them.

Councillors are currently required to represent the views of all electors of the local government, and make decisions in the best interest of the district as a whole. Abolishing all wards makes it easier for Councillors to offer balanced representation, with each Councillor representing the whole community.

There are some potential disadvantages. Councillors may feel overwhelmed by having to represent all electors, and may not have the time or opportunity to understand and represent all the issues. Also, Councillors living in a certain area may have a greater affinity and understanding of the issues specific to that area, which would be lost in a ward-less system.

See the full list of advantages and disadvantages of a ward-less system in the discussion paper.

Could the number of Councillors change?

Yes, they could decrease. If adopted by the Local Government Advisory Board, Options 2a and 3a would decrease the numbers of Councillors to 10 and 9 respectively.

Some of the advantages include:

  • Decision making process may be more effective and efficient if the number of Councillors is reduced.
  • The cost of mantaining Councillors is likely to be reduced.
  • More contested elections and with greater interest in elections.

Some of the disadvantages include:

  • A smaller number of Councillors may result in an increased workload.
  • There is potential for dominance of Council by a particular interest group.
  • Opportunities for community participation in Council affairs may be reduced if there are fewer Councillors for the community to contact.

See the full list of advantages and disadvantages in reducing the number of Councillors in the discussion paper.

Get involved

Tell us which option you prefer and why. Submissions are due by 5pm on Friday 28 October 2016.

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What is your preferred option for ward boundary/Councillor representation? Required

I propose the following Ward Boundary/Councillor representation structure:

I believe the Local Government Advisory Board should adopt my proposed ward system because:

Naming options are sought from the community. You may provide new name suggestions even if you've chosen to stay with the current ward structure. You may ignore this question if you've chosen a no-ward system.

The survey form is now closed. Thanks for your contributions.