City of Kwinana set to elect mayor via public vote in move to align with local government reform agenda

Hannah CrossSound Telegraph
The City of Kwinana has voted to change the way it elects the city’s mayor.
Camera IconThe City of Kwinana has voted to change the way it elects the city’s mayor. Credit: Supplied/City of Kwinana

In an early move to enforce some of the State Government’s impending local government reforms, the City of Kwinana has voted to change the way it elects the city’s mayor.

At its September 28 meeting, council voted in favour of electing the mayor via public vote and keeping the number of councillors to eight.

Under the State Government reforms, expected to be introduced to Parliament early next year, all band 1 and 2 councils will be required to elect its mayor by popular vote.

Kwinana mayor Carol Adams noted the City has already implemented some of the reforms where appropriate, including the livestreaming of council meetings.

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“We have commenced a community and stakeholder engagement charter,” Ms Adams said.

“We have also included independent members on the audit and risk committee with an independent chair.”

Mayoral elections will now take place every four years as a public vote instead of every two years in Kwinana’s current councillor-elected cycle. Council will have seven elected members and one mayor.

Ms Adams said council has not yet considered superannuation for elected members, another item on the State Government’s reform agenda, and gave no indication of which way council would swing on the matter.

The City of Rockingham, however, noted that “council members are not employees”.

“The City’s position is that if superannuation is introduced for elected members it needs to be sector-wide and implemented through the Salaries and Allowances Tribunal, as the existing fees and charges are dealt with,” Rockingham mayor Deb Hamblin said.

While the City of Mandurah is set to undertake a wards, boundaries and councillors review, the City of Rockingham is not required to as it was reviewed in 2020/21.

“This was done after council resolved to change the method of filling the office of the mayor from election by council to election by the electors,” Ms Hamblin said.

“Proposed electoral reforms will not require the City to make any specific changes to its size and structure.”

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