- What is a Representation Review?
In accordance with section 12 of the Local Government Act, this Representation Review is required to consider the composition of the Council and the advantages and disadvantages of the options that are available for elector representation under the Act. The key areas for consideration are:
- election or appointment of the Principal Member (Mayor/Chairperson);
- the number of Councillors;
- how Councillors are elected – from wards, across the whole of the Council area or a combination of both;
- whether the Council should have wards or no wards; and
- the name of the Council and the wards (if any).
A council must ensure that all aspects of the composition of the council, and the issue of division or potential division, or the area of the Council into wards, are comprehensively reviewed.
- When did Council last undertake a Representative Review?
Councils in South Australia are required to undertake regular reviews of their elector representation arrangements.
The City of Charles Sturt undertook its last Representation Review during the period April 2012 to April 2013.
- What process does the review need to follow?
The process for the Representation Review requires Council to undertake the following steps:
- Initiate the preparation of a Representation Options Paper, by a person who, in the opinion of the Council, is qualified to address the representation and governance issues that may arise with respect to the matters under review;
- Conduct the first round of public consultation on the Paper pursuant to section 12(7) of the Act. Consultation must be open for a minimum period of six (6) weeks;
- Consider the submissions made during the first public consultation and prepare a Representation Review Report that details the representation arrangements it favours, the reasons why and respond to issues raised during the first consultation;
- Conduct the second round of public consultation, providing an opportunity for people making submissions to be heard personally or through a representative on the Representation Review Report, by either the Council or a Committee of the Council. Consultation must be open for a minimum period of three (3) weeks with opportunities for verbal submissions to follow;
- Adopt a representation structure;
- Prepare the final Representation Review Report;
- Submit the final Representation Review Report to the Electoral Commissioner of South Australia (ECSA) to obtain a certificate of compliance. If the certificate of compliance is not provided, the Council will be required to undertake further actions to meet the ECSA’s requirements; and
- Place a notice in the Gazette providing for the operation of any proposal in the final Review Report for which the ECSA has provided a certificate of compliance.
If the Council wishes to adopt a representation structure that changes the composition of the Council, or to appoint a Chairperson instead of an Elected Mayor, a poll must be held on that aspect of the Representation Review.
Any changes as a result of the Representation Review generally takes effect for the next general elections to be held in November 2022.
- What principles need to be considered?
The Representation Review Report must take into account the principles set out in section 26 of the Local Government Act, namely:
- that any changes to the Council’s representation should benefit ratepayers;
- arrangements should reflect communities of interest, values and aspirations and avoid significant dislocation within the community;
- encourage local community participation in decisions about local matters; and
- provide effective local governance and foster co-operation with other councils.
- What is the existing composition of Council?
The ‘City of Charles Sturt’ was proclaimed on 1 January 1997 as a result of the amalgamation of the former City of Hindmarsh Woodville and the City of Henley and Grange. The ‘City of Charles Sturt’ has been the name of the Council since it was formed, and is named after Charles Sturt, a prominent explorer of early Australia, who was also a resident of the Grange area in the mid-19th century. The name of the Council is not proposed to be reviewed as part of this Representation Review.
The current representation structure is an eight (8) ward structure, each with two (2) ward Councillors, and a Mayor, elected from the whole of the Council area. The current names of the eight (8) wards are:
- Semaphore Park
- West Woodville
- What matters are taken into account in the review?
Council is required to take the following matters into account in conducting the Representation Review:
- Demographic trends;
- Population data and projections;
- Communities of interest; and
- Elector representation and ward quotas.