Why is this review being undertaken?

    The City is undertaking a review of representation and its current ward system to respond to a request issued by the Minister for Local Government on 20 September 2022 arising out of the WA Government’s local government reform proposals.

    The single biggest change the City will be required to make is in response to Local Government Reform Proposal 4.5 under Theme 4 – Stronger Local Democracy and Community Engagement. This proposes tiered limits on the number of councillors, based on the total population of the entire local government. Local governments with a population of between 5,000 and 75,000 will be permitted to have five to nine councillors including the Mayor/President. 

    The current approximate population of the City of Fremantle (based on preliminary 2021 census data recently released by the ABS) is 31,930. Therefore, the City will be required to reduce the number of elected members on the council to a maximum of 9 including the mayor.

    Why did the City of Fremantle choose the voluntary pathway?

    The Volunteer Pathway gives the Council greater opportunity to determine new structure, consult the community on changes, potential opportunity to phase in changes over two election cycles in 2023 and 2025 rather than disruptive impact of whole-of-council ‘spill’ in October 2023, avoids Mayor and councillors newly elected in 2021 having only a two year term when they campaigned and were elected on basis of a four year term.

    What factors must be considered when considering changes to wards?

    When considering changes to wards and representation, Schedule 2.2 of the Act specifies five factors that must be taken into account by a local government as part of the review process:

    1. Community of interest
    2. Physical and topographic features
    3. Demographic trends
    4. Economic factors
    5. Ratio of Councillors to Electors in the various wards. 

    Further details can be found in the discussion paper. 

    When did the City last undertake a review?

    The City last conducted a Ward and Representation Review was completed in December 2018. A link to the MySay Page for that review is available here