Changes To Council Electoral Structures

The Andrews Labor Government is delivering grassroots democracy and accountability in local government through a suite of changes to council electoral structures.

Local Government Minister Adem Somyurek today announced eight metropolitan councils will adopt single member ward structures ahead of local government general elections in October.

The new Local Government Act 2020 introduced a preference for single member wards to support closer relationships between councillors and their communities.

The eight councils moving to single member wards are Bayside, Cardinia, Darebin, Greater Dandenong, Kingston, Manningham, Maroondah and Whitehorse.

In addition, 38 rural councils are now eligible for unsubdivided and uniform multi-member ward structures in recognition of the unique circumstances of each rural shire.

Two councils, Swan Hill Rural City and Mansfield Shire, will move to an unsubdivided structure for the elections, following the adoption of recommendations from the VEC.

Following these changes 54 councils will retain their current ward structures for the 2020 elections. By the 2024 general elections, all councils will move to compliant electoral structures.

The Government has also announced it will introduce a Bill to Parliament on Thursday that allows for virtual council meetings – to ensure local government decision-making can continue during the coronavirus pandemic.

Details of each Council’s electoral structure for the 2020 election can be found at: https://www.localgovernment.vic.gov.au/our-programs/local-government-act-2020

Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government Adem Somyurek

“Single member wards support accountability, equity and grassroots democracy.”

“This is about giving people more confidence in local government, because strong councils build strong communities.”