With just over five months to Local Government elections being held across the state, tranche one of the Local Government reforms have passed through Parliament.
The reforms will have a major bearing for candidates, as well as voters at the 21 October Local Government elections.
Major changes voters will notice include:
  • Optional preferential voting
  • A popular public vote for Mayors and Presidents of larger Band 1 and 2 Local Governments
  • Abolition of wards for smaller Local Governments
WALGA successfully advocated for a number of the reforms and was instrumental in helping shape the first tranche of the legislation.
While not every measure was supported by the Local Government sector, WALGA President Cr Karen Chappel said overall the new legislation will benefit the community by modernising Local Government and reducing unnecessary red tape.
The community will also be given greater access to Council meetings and proceedings through the mandating of live streaming and recording of Council meetings.
Cr Chappel said with the first tranche of the reforms passed through the Parliament, now was an ideal time for people to consider running for Council.
“With nominations for Council opening in less than four months, I encourage strong community participation in this year’s election to ensure fair representation for communities,” she said.
“Local Government is the level of Government most relevant to people and the experience of sitting on Council and being part of a process that makes decisions on behalf of your community is extremely rewarding and fulfilling.
“With community at the forefront of mind for Council decisions, it is therefore important that people vote in the elections on October 21.”
Cr Chappel said WALGA would continue to consult with the Local Government Minister as the second tranche of legislation was developed. This will address a number of issues, including Elected Member Superannuation.
Nominations for Council open on 7 September, 44 days before Council elections on 21 October.  There is only a very small window for people to nominate, with nominations closing one week later.