Shire Council advised on State local government reforms

Published on Friday, 18 November 2022 at 8:04:00 AM

The Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku’s Council has been advised by the Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Hannagan, on local government reforms that have been introduced by the State Government of Western Australia. As part of the reforms, the Shire may see a reduction in Councillors from 8 to 5, including the President.


The Shire had two pathways available for implementation as advised by the State Minister for Local Government:


  1. Voluntary pathway, with the Shire implementing changes on a voluntary basis. This option will require Council to advise the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) of the Shire’s choice to implement the recommendations on a voluntary basis and include a high-level plan outlining how the changes will be implemented for ordinary elections to be held in 2023 (and in 2025, if applicable).

  2. Reform election pathway, if the Amendment Act will provide for all changes to be implemented through reform elections in 2023. This option will see all the Council’s office be declared vacant and the number of offices set based on the reform proposals. Elections will then be held to fill all offices with a split between 2 and 4-year terms as may be necessary to re-establish an ordinary election cycle.


The Shire advised the DLGSC of its choice to adopt the reform election pathway prior to the department’s 28 October due date. The main impacts for the Shire from the updated requirements are reductions in the number of elected members in Council in accordance with the Shire’s population numbers, which is below the States threshold of 5,000. The Shire does not have wards and will not be affected by the removal of wards for band 3 and 4 local governments. The amendment to the Act on preferential voting will apply for all local government elections, including the Shire.


The State Government announced the final composition of proposed local government reforms in July this year following a review of public submissions. New requirements have been introduced to strengthen democracies at the local level and increase community engagement, such as:


  • Introducing optional preferential voting
  • Enabling directly elected Mayors and Presidents for band 1 and 2 local governments
  • Adjusting councillor numbers based on population
  • Removing wards for band 3 and 4 local governments.


These provisions are being included as amendments to the Local Government Act 1995 (the Act), with a bill expected to be introduced in Parliament early next year.


The State Government is working with local governments across Western Australia to deliver the largest set of reforms in more than 25 years. The reforms will see improvements to council elections with direct benefits to ratepayers, residents, and small businesses, and make council voting fairer. Under the reforms, 48 local governments will need to reduce the size of their council, 22 local governments will need to change to electing the Mayor or President by a public vote of ratepayers, and 11 local governments will need to abolish wards. A total 71 local governments will meet reform criteria, with no requirements make changes to the size or structure of their councils.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Damian McLean

Shire President

P: (08) 8956 7966


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