Why is Council reviewing the wards?

    Every eight years local governments are required under law to carry out a review of ward boundaries and the number of councillors representing each ward. The Shire of Augusta Margaret River’s last ward review was done on 23 April 2009 so a revision of the ward structure is needed before the next council elections in 2017.

    Why do we need to change the wards?

    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.

    What should wards be based on?

    A combination of the following factors are taken into consideration as part of the review:
    • Community of interest
    • Physical and topographic features
    • Demographic trends
    • Economic factors
    • Ratio of Councillors to Electors in the various wards.

    What is the current ward structure?

    Our shire has 7 elected Councillors from 3 wards:
    • LEEUWIN WARD (2 Councillors)
    • MARGARET RIVER WARD (2 Councillors)
    • NORTH WARD (3 Councillors)