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A Representation Review is a process required by the Local Government Act 1999 which considers the composition of the Council and the advantages and disadvantages of various representation options. The key areas for consideration are:
A council must ensure that all aspects of the composition of the council, and the issue of division or potential division, of the area of the Council into wards, are comprehensively reviewed.
City of Prospect undertook its last Representation Review during 2013. Councils in South Australia are currently required to undertake regular reviews of their elector representation arrangements, which is approximately every 8 years. The Minister has approved the current schedule which captures City of Prospect.
The process for the Representation Review requires Council to undertake the following steps:
Any changes as a result of the Representation Review will take effect for the next general elections to be held in November 2022.
The Final Representation Review Report must take into account the principles set out in section 26 of the Local Government Act 1999 (the Act), namely:
Council is required to take the following matters into account in conducting the Representation Review:
This Bill seeks to amend the provisions of the Local Government Act (the Act), including matters relating to the composition of councils and the elector representation review process.
Specifically it seeks to:
As such it is only really the third dot point that will apply to the City of Prospect, which aims to simply future processes for efficiency and simplicity.
The potential changes to the Act are being taken into consideration as Council progresses through the current review.
An elector is a person or body who is either enrolled on the House of Assembly electoral roll (used for state and federal elections) or has applied to be on the Council’s Voters Roll. The Council’s voters roll allows:
To be included on the Council’s Voters Roll for the 2022 election eligible persons and groups will need to apply after 1 January 2022 to the close of rolls using the forms available.
The Representation Review is expected to cost the council $22,000 (maximum and afforded through the ABP and Budget for this financial year). This includes the preparation of the two consultation reports, costs of the statutory notices in the SA Government Gazette and in a newspaper circulating in the council area and all consultation activities.
In reviewing the Final Report from Council the Electoral Commissioner needs to determine that the requirements of Section 12 of the Local Government Act 1999 have been satisfied, specifically in relation to Council’s interpretation of the parties that were eligible to make a submission during the public consultation stages and that the Council has provided for a genuine and participatory engagement process.
Should this not be adequately demonstrated or there is inconsistent or no evidenced decision making, the Commissioner may not certify Council’s final review report. Aside from having to repeat the process this could carry reputational and financial risks.
It is of paramount importance to ensure that no interested person is denied the opportunity to provide a submission and that the mandated timeframes are adhered to.