Richard Wynne, the Minister for Local Government, has accepted all the recommendations from the Victorian Electoral Commission’s (VEC) review into the ward structure and representation of Maroondah City Council.
This means that the number of councillors within Maroondah will increase to nine and the current seven ward structure will be replaced by three wards, Mullum, Arrabri and Wyeena, each electing three councillors. Loughnan’s Hill Ward will be incorporated within the new Mullum ward, which also includes the Ringwood sections of Clocktower and parts of Ringwood North, which were formerly within Yarrunga Ward.
While Maroondah City Council attempted to seek Ministerial intervention to refuse the VEC’s recommendations, it is encouraging that the Minister has respected the independence of this statutory authority. It is clear that both the Minister and the Victorian Electoral Commission have rejected the tactics of Maroondah City Council, in its vain attempt to retain the unrepresentative status quo.
These changes mean that councillors will be elected using proportional representation rather than preferential voting. This will lead to fairer election outcomes and minimise the undemocratic practice of running mates. While proportional voting alters the way preferences are distributed, the method of voting, namely numbering each candidate remains the same.
For details on proportional voting and how it works, the VEC has prepared a slideshow which is available from www.vec.vic.gov.au/prslideshow.html. These changes which will take effect from the November Council election will lead to fairer and more equitable representation within Maroondah Council.
I would like to thank members of community who supported my stance in seeking changes to Maroondah’s ward structure. These changes will ensure a holistic approach to council issues and will lead to a higher standard of democracy and governance.