Changes In The Chamber

Your say on council wards and representation

District Council of Mallala (DCM) will go back to community consultation with a new in-principle electoral model following a decision to abolish wards altogether.

It was an about-turn by councillors at the DCM June 24 meeting after a lengthy electoral review process saw them in May make an in-principle decision to continue with a ward structure for the district.

This option had seen the council reducing the number of wards to three, with three councillors representing each ward and the names of Two Wells, Lewiston and Mallala/Dublin proposed.

This decision was overturned at the meeting following a motion put forward by councillor Strudwicke. No division was called.

As part of the electoral review process, council was, earlier in the year, given two options to consider.

First option was to have no wards and nine councillors plus a mayor elected by the community; the alternative was three wards comprising three representatives for each ward and a mayor elected by the community.

It was the latter option councillors voted in favour of in May but after reviewing community feedback, in which the majority of submissions supported the abolishment of wards for the council area, council are now going forward with a no ward
proposal. DCM chief executive officer, Charles Mansueto, said the decision reflected councillors’ concerns the proposed three-ward model was not fair.

“There’s pros and cons on each model,” Mr Mansueto said.

“But it really comes down to what the electors think is a fair representation for the district.

“The proposed Mallala/Dublin ward was still too big on its own, in terms of area, for three councillors to cover.

“Also, because of the proposed growth in Two Wells it would be very likely council would have to undertake another electoral representation review in two or three years time if they persisted with a ward
structure.”

The no ward option will see the total number of councillors reduced from 11 to 10, with the mayor elected by the community at the 2014 elections.

A three-week community consultation period will now follow, with councillors making a final decision next month.

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