The Victorian Government has announced the appointment of members of two Electoral Representation Advisory Panels to review the electoral structure of the state’s councils.
Minister for Local Government, Melissa Horne confirmed the appointments with the panels to begin their work early next year and complete the formal process by early 2024, in time for the local elections.
“The appointment of Electoral Representation Advisory Panels will ensure that councils are effectively representing the communities they serve,” said Minister Horne.
“We’re serious about improving culture in local councils and part of that is ensuring appropriate representation for communities.”
The Electoral Representation Advisory Panels will conduct a review into the structure of 39 Victorian councils that need to comply with new electoral representation arrangements under the Local Government Act 2020.
The Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) will provide the panels with all technical and administrative support.
Under the Act, all councils must have a single-member ward structure unless the Government has permitted them to have uniform multi-member wards or an unsubdivided structure.
Single-member wards are expected to more closely link councillors to the community they serve and ensure representation is genuinely local.
The panels will advise the Minister on issues such as the total number of councillors for each municipality, and the ward structure, including the number of wards (if subdivided), number of councillors per ward, ward boundaries and names.
The panels will be Chaired by The Hon. Frank Vincent AO KC and Julie Eisenbise. Panel members include Ms Elizabeth Williams, Mr Timothy Presnell and the Victorian Electoral Commissioner.
For more information, including the terms of reference for the Electoral Representation Advisory Panels, visit the Victorian Electoral Commission and Local Government Victoria websites.