Hon John Castrilli MLA

Hon John Castrilli MLA

Former Minister for Local Government; Heritage; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests

    Interesting times for local government elections

    22/09/2011 12:00 AM
     
    • No elections in 42 local governments
    • 11 positions unfilled
    • Is local government losing connection with its electors?
    In the lead up to the 2011 local government elections, 42 of the State’s 138 local governments will not have an election due to uncontested vacancies, with seven of these councils having unfilled positions.

    Local Government Minister John Castrilli said there were 662 advertised vacancies for the office of councillor and 12 for mayor or shire president by popular vote across the State.

    At the close of nominations, 244 or 36 per cent of the total represented resulted in candidates being elected unopposed.

    In addition, 11 positions in eight local governments remain unfilled.

    “Over the past two years I have advocated for local governments to voluntarily reduce their numbers to a range between six and nine,” Mr Castrilli said.

    “As a result of voluntary reductions there were 38 fewer vacancies this year.”

    The Minister said there was ample scope to further reduce the number of elected members to increase competition for council positions and achieve a focus on strategic and policy matters.

    “Contested elections are a healthy sign of local democracy and I encourage elected councils to operate at a more strategic level,” he said.

    Mr Castrilli said there had been indications from within the local government sector of disconnect between some elected members and their community and I have taken steps to address those concerns through legislation.
     
          Fact File

    • WA Local Government elections to be held October 15, 2011
    Minister's office - 9213 6800