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Feedback sought for Mitchell Shire Council electoral structure

By David Rak

Community feedback is being sought on two options for the Mitchell Shire Council electoral structure.

The community can have its say on the two options proposed for Mitchell Shire Council’s 2020 electoral structure, following the release of a report from the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC).

The preliminary report is part of the VEC’s electoral representation review of Mitchell Shire Council, which commenced in November, with information sessions and a month-long public submission period.

The VEC asked community members to consider the number of councillors and whether the council should remain subdivided into wards.

Nine preliminary submissions were received, all of which were carefully considered in drawing up the options. The VEC also analysed demographic, geographic and electoral data and trends.

Mitchell Shire Council’s existing structure consists of three three-councillor wards.

The options are:

● Option A: nine councillors elected from three three-councillor wards, with adjustments to the current ward boundaries.

● Option B: nine councillors elected from three wards (one two-councillor ward, one three-councillor ward and one four-councillor ward).

Electoral commissioner Warwick Gately encouraged community members to get involved by reviewing the report and making a submission.

“We want to ensure all voters are represented in a fair and equitable way, so now’s the time to speak up,” Mr Gately said.

“You have one month to consider the options and make your submission supporting or opposing the options.”

Submissions responding to the preliminary report should address the options and must be received by the VEC by 5 pm, March 11. Submissions can be made by email, post or online at vec.vic.gov.au,

A public hearing will be held at 6.30 pm on March 18 at Mitchell Shire Council chambers, 113 High St, Broadford for anyone who has requested to speak in support of their submission. If there are no requests to speak, the hearing will not be held.

The preliminary report is available at vec.vic.gov.au. Copies are also available for inspection at Mitchell Shire Council offices.