The Victorian Electoral Commission is required to undertake a review of council ward structures and composition to coincide with every second council election. While some councils undertook this review prior to the 2005 council elections, the formal process for Maroondah will begin in January to coincide with the 2008 council elections.
Maroondah Council currently has seven single member wards:
The review has the potential to increase the number of councillors to nine but to reduce the number of wards to three. This would mean there could potentially be three wards comprising of three councillors each.
The Maroondah Journal has reported on the review process, including a series of workshops that will be organised by council:
Loughnan’s Hill Councillor Alex Makin said the council wards were “largely arbitrary” and it was time to look at change. It is timely that we look at a new model that suits our community to become more involved and active within our broader community”.
The current ward compositions are largely arbitrary potentially leading to confusion as to the location of ward boundaries and the division of suburbs. A simpler ward structure, whereby Maroondah would be divided into three, would make it easier for residents to identify which ward they live in and who their respective councillors are.
While the formal review process is yet to begin, Maroondah Council is organising a series of workshops to gather community input into the review process:
- Wednesday 14 November 2007 commencing at 5pm at the Council Offices, Braeside Avenue, Ringwood.
- Saturday 17 November 2007 commencing at 2pm at the Council Offices, Braeside Avenue, Ringwood.
- Wednesday 21 November 2007 commencing at 7pm at the Glenn Frost Room, Croydon Library, Civic Square Croydon.
An Issues Paper is available for participants and bookings are essential. Bookings may be made by contacting either Janice or Eliza on 9298 4264.
It is critical that Maroondah uses the opportunity of this review to examine how we can strengthen the engagement and empowerment of our community.