Change local government law, let us alter wards: Mohr |Poll

CHANGE NEEDED: Dubbo Regional councillor Greg Mohr is hoping to change the ward system while still allowing Wellington to be fairly represented. Photo: ELOUISE HAWKEY
CHANGE NEEDED: Dubbo Regional councillor Greg Mohr is hoping to change the ward system while still allowing Wellington to be fairly represented. Photo: ELOUISE HAWKEY

Amendments will need to be made to the Local Government Act for Dubbo Regional Council to implement a new two ward system.

As it currently stands, the act states wards must be split into equal population groups and elect the same number of councillors. However, after mass confusion and annoyance at the wards during the local government election, councillor Greg Mohr called for a change.

While the wards could be abolished, councillors instead want to look at creating two voting areas – one for Dubbo and another for Wellington.

“I think it’s simply unfair, it is confusing. We need representation for Wellington, we need Wellington to have a voice and we have to get it right the first time because it will take several years to get this into place,” Cr Mohr said.

If the wards were to be abolished it would need to be done via referendum which would most likely be held at the next local government election in 2020 at a cost of $35,000.

Instead, council will contact Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton to consider changing the Local Government Act. A motion will also be submitted at next year’s NSW Local Government Conference calling for the act to be changed.

Councillor David Grant said council could have abolished the wards, but by looking into altering them instead it assured the community that council was going to explore every avenue for a fair representation.