Changes in how Shire of Murray President Will Be Elected

Published on 16 December 2022

Photo of all the Councillors standing in the Council Chambers

The Shire of Murray has agreed to how changes likely to be introduced by the State Government next year will be implemented.

The state government is introducing a Bill to parliament which will impact local governments in Western Australia.

New requirements will be introduced to provide for:

  • The introduction of optional preferential voting;
  • Directly elected Mayors and Presidents for band 1 and 2 local governments (Shire of Murray is a band 2 government);
  • Councillor numbers based on population; and
  • The removal of wards for band 3 and 4 local governments. The Bill also will force Councils that have Wards to undertake a Ward review. As the Shire of Murray does not have Wards this requirement is not necessary.

The State Government is offering two different pathways to enact these changes- voluntary and non-voluntary.

The purpose of offering the ‘voluntary’ pathway is to allow Councils to implement these changes and still meet a strict timeline. The voluntary pathway provides the greatest possible lead time to plan for next year’s ordinary elections, and as such, it is this pathway that the Shire of Murray Council will support.

Chief Executive Officer, Dean Unsworth said “opting for the voluntary pathway means we have the time to implement the required changes. Taking this route also means we don’t risk a full spill of Council positions before the October elections and ensure stability within Council.