Mitchell community consulted on VEC

TWO options for new electoral structures for the Mitchell Shire Council will be put forward to the public to provide feedback on.

The community can have its say on the two options proposed, following the release of a report from the Victorian Electoral Commission last Tuesday.

The preliminary report is part of the VEC’s electoral representation review of Mitchell Shire Council, which commenced in November 2019 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 – nine councillors elected from three three‑councillor wards, with adjustments to the current ward boundaries.

Or, 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 5pm on Wednesday, March 11. Submissions can be made online at vec.vic.gov.au, by email or by post.

A public hearing will be held at 6.30pm on Wednesday, March 18 at Mitchell Shire Council chambers in 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.