Nillumbik Shire Council Electoral Representation Review

The Local Government Act 1989 (the Act) requires the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) to conduct an electoral representation review of each municipality in Victoria before every third council general election.

The purpose of an electoral representation review is to recommend an electoral structure that provides fair and equitable representation for people who are entitled to vote at a general election of the council. The matters considered by a review are:

  • the number of councillors

  • the electoral structure of the council (whether the council should be unsubdivided or divided into wards and, if subdivided, the details of the ward boundaries and the number of councillors per ward).

    The VEC conducts all reviews based on three main principles:

  1. taking a consistent, State-wide approach to the total number of councillors

  2. if subdivided, ensuring the number of voters represented by each councillor is within
    plus-or-minus 10% of the average number of voters per councillor for that local
    council

  3. ensuring communities of interest are as fairly represented as possible.

Current electoral structure

Nillumbik Shire Council currently comprises seven councillors elected from seven single-councillor wards. Prior to the last representation review in 2008, Nillumbik Shire Council was composed of nine councillors elected from nine single-councillor wards.

Preliminary submissions

Preliminary submissions opened at the commencement of the current review on Wednesday
13 February 2019. The VEC received 76 submissions for the representation review of Nillumbik Shire Council by the deadline at 5.00 pm on Wednesday 13 March 2019.

Preliminary report

A preliminary report was released on Wednesday 10 April 2019 with the following options for consideration:

  • Option A (preferred option) Nillumbik Shire Council consist of seven councillors elected from one three-councillor ward and two two-councillor wards.

  • Option B (alternative option) Nillumbik Shire Council consist of seven councillors elected from seven single-councillor wards.

Response submissions

The VEC received 81 submissions responding to the preliminary report by the deadline at 5.00 pm on Wednesday 8 May 2019.

Public hearings

The VEC conducted two public hearings for those wishing to speak about their response submission at 7.30 pm on Monday 13 May 2019 and at 7.30 pm on Thursday 16 May 2019.

In total, 14 people spoke at the public hearings.

Recommendation

The Victorian Electoral Commission recommends that Nillumbik Shire Council continue to consist of seven councillors elected from seven single-councillor wards, with modifications to the current ward boundaries.

This electoral structure was designated as Option B in the preliminary report and has been submitted to the Minister as required by the Local Government Act 1989.