Any changes to Redland City Council’s divisional boundaries would be determined by an independent commission, according to Council’s General Manager organisational Services Nick Clarke.
Mr Clarke said that Council was currently bound by the Local Government Act 2009 to conduct a review and make a report to the Local Government Minister and Local Government Change Commission.
“Redland City Council is obliged by state law to review its divisional boundaries a year ahead of the quadrennial local government elections to ensure our population is fairly distributed,’’ Mr Clarke said.
“Under the Local Government Act 2009, this review must be done and submitted by 1 March this year to determine whether each of the Redlands’ 10 divisions has an approximately equal proportion of electors.
“Council must give the Electoral Commissioner and Local Government Minister written notice of the results of the review no later than 1 March this year, with the next elections due on March 19, 2016.’’
Mr Clarke said that should changes be sought, it was then the responsibility of the Local Government Change Commission to conduct an independent assessment.
“Councillors are also considering whether or not the number of divisions is appropriate to the size of the City and their ability to represent the City’s residents and businesses. This is good governance practice, irrespective of whether or not any changes are ultimately made,’’ he said.
“Any proposed change must be referred by the Minister to the Local Government Change Commission, which then must assess whether that change is in the public interest.
“In making its assessment, the Change Commission may call for public submissions or hold a public hearing to ask the public for its views.’’
The Change Commission must let the public know the results of its assessment and the reasons for the results, by publishing notice of the results in a local newspaper, the Government Gazette and on the Electoral Commission’s website.
Under the Act, each division must have a reasonable proportion of electors which is worked out by dividing the total number of electors in the City by the number of councillors other than the mayor. There’s a tolerance of plus or minus 10 per cent.
Read more in the Local Government Act 2009 – go to part 2 – divisions of local government areas.