Council’s ward structure could undergo significant change before 2020 election

The Central Goldfields Shire Council’s ward structure could be set to change as early as next year following the introduction of the new Local Government Bill 2019 into parliament last week.

Introduced on Wednesday, the Bill includes a reform to create a “consistent, state-wide voting system and single-member wards for all councils”.

If the Bill is passed, the new system will be introduced for all councils, however, rural councils with large geographical areas and small populations will be able to be either single member wards or unsubdivided.

The reform would mean a change for the Central Goldfields Shire’s current system — before the elected council was dismissed in 2017 — which had three single member wards in Paddy’s Ranges, Flynn and Tullaroop, followed by the Maryborough Ward which was represented by four councillors.

Central Goldfields Shire chief administrator Noel Harvey said he expects the Bill will be passed and that Central Goldfields’ ward structure will have to change.

“Assuming the Bill gets through parliament it’ll be enacted before the end of the year, and I’d be very surprised if it didn’t go through,” he said.

For more on this story see the Front Page of The Advertiser, Tuesday, November 19

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