The Mount Alexander Shire Council may change to single councillor wards. The proposed Local Government Act 2019 proposes single councillor wards.
If the bill passes into law this year it will take effect from the 2020 council elections. The next local government election is on Saturday 24 October 2020.
The Victorian State Government has been looking toward comprehensive reform of local government. For several years consultation has taken place. Last year the proposed Local Government Act 2018, which contained many changes, lapsed.
The new Local Government Bill 2019 brings into force sweeping reforms. One of these is the default position of having single councillor wards.
There has been reservation expressed by several local councils in central Victoria. Some councils are not so sure single councillor wards are such a good idea. Although, it is possible that the changes may result in having no wards for the Shire.
Under the proposed changes it is possible that some councils may have no wards. An Electoral Representation Advisory Panel will identify councils that should have no wards. This could result in the Shire of Mount Alexander having no wards. Several councillors would represent the electorate in the whole of the shire.
The state government keen to introduce a uniform electoral structure model. Councils have until July 12 this year to provide feedback on the proposed changes.
We will bring more news about these changes as the situation develops. Comment has been sought from the Mount Alexander Shire Council.