The current ward system has functioned well for the past seven years, however given the current and predicted uneven growth in different areas in the Shire, a restructure of the wards is required to maintain a fair representational system.
Uneven population growth in our Shire has meant that the Margaret River Town Ward with two councillors is growing much faster than the Leeuwin Ward which also has two councillors. The North Ward is also growing faster than the Leeuwin Ward but not as fast as the Margaret River Ward which takes in the new suburbs of Rapids Landing and Brookfield. The Leeuwin Ward includes Augusta, Karridale, Kudardup, Molloy Island, the southern part of Witchcliffe, Rosa Brook and the
surrounding rural areas.
Because of this uneven growth, it is estimated that a councillor in the Margaret River Town Ward will
represent an additional 304 electors or 22% more than a Leeuwin Ward councillor at the 2017 elections if the system is not changed. This inequality is expected to worsen over the next eight years (four elections).
The current ward structure is therefore becoming increasingly unfair from the point of view of the “one vote for one value” principle. The ward structure or the ward boundaries of the existing three wards needs to be changed to meet State Government guidelines and to provide a robust ward structure over the next four elections.