The Victorian Electoral Commission is currently undertaking a representation review into the ward structure and number of councillors within Maroondah.
The Maroondah Journal has reported on this review, amid the official council submission calling for the retention of the status quo:
Maroondah councillors have urged the electoral commission to retain seven councillors in seven wards. Cr Alex Makin disagrees.
Council’s submission was on the agenda for February’s council meeting and was passed five to two, with myself and Cr. Maureen Naylor voting against the council’s defence of the status quo.
“I am not in favour of the council’s current representation. If it continues down the path of having seven I think it ward boundaries will continue to be confusing for the public. What we need is a simple ward structure”.
The current ward structure within Maroondah divides a number of communities making it difficult for community members to ascertain who their ward councillor is. As an example, it is quite common for me to receive calls from Ringwood residents living in Clocktower Ward since the current structure divides Ringwood.
Cr Makin said he would advocate for three wards and three councillors on the basis it was consistent with what the community desired.
Consultation undertaken by Maroondah City Council, through a series of workshops, confirmed that the community favoured reform through a structure with three wards electing three councillors each. It is disappointing that the council has chosen to disregard the views of the community simply to try and protect the status quo.
Furthermore the current ward boundaries perpetuate a division between Ringwood and Croydon rather than ensuring that council decisions are made with a holistic approach. It is time for the ward structure to be modified to reflect a cohesive Maroondah community.
Given that Council has chosen to ignore the community I will be authoring an individual submission to the Victorian Electoral Commission’s review into Maroondah. Submissions are due by the 4th of March.