Electoral representation review

18 September 2019 - Media release

Campaspe Shire Council has approved a submission to the Victorian Electoral Commission’s (VEC) Preliminary Report regarding the Campaspe Electoral Representation Review.

Mayor Cr Adrian Weston said the review is a legislative requirement and is part of a state wide program.

“A review of the electorate is required every 12 years and is crucial to the democratic process in ensuring fair and equal representation across the municipal district,” Cr Weston said.

The population based review requires wards to have no more than a 10 per cent variation in its councillor to voter ratio. The number of voters per councillor should be similar in each ward.

“A variation of greater than 10 per cent generally leads to a recommendation to change the ward boundary so that the ratio is met, “Cr Weston said.

The preliminary report considers that nine councillors in Campaspe Shire were appropriate given its size and comparison to similar councils.

The report presented two options:

1)         Maintain the status quo (nine councillors in five wards) with minor boundary adjustments to the Echuca and Waranga wards to maintain the councillor to voter ratio within the 10 per cent variation threshold.

2)         An unsubdivided shire of nine councillors which had the potential to increase the number of candidates at an election, however could create a high concentration of Echuca councillors at the expense of representation in rural areas.

“Councillors considered both options and had clear support for option 1,” Cr Weston said.

The VEC will consider all submissions to its preliminary report and issue a final report on 2 October 2019.