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City of Greater Geraldton vote to implement ‘voluntary pathway’ as part of local government overhaul

Lachlan AllenGeraldton Guardian
City of Greater Geraldton councillors have unanimously voted to follow the ‘voluntary pathway’ as the deadline for the State Government’s local government reform looms.
Camera IconCity of Greater Geraldton councillors have unanimously voted to follow the ‘voluntary pathway’ as the deadline for the State Government’s local government reform looms. Credit: Dominique Bayens/The Geraldton Guardian

City of Greater Geraldton councillors have unanimously voted to follow the “voluntary pathway” as the deadline for the State Government’s local government reform looms.

At Tuesday’s nights council meeting, councillors rejected the “reform election pathway,” instead opting for the voluntary pathway which was carried unopposed.

Under the compulsory pathway, Local Government Minister John Carey would have determined how many councillors there were.

The City will now advise the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries of its intention to undertake a voluntary process and provide Mr Carey with a transition plan by October 28.

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While consultation with the local community will also take place to determine the number of councillors, however, CEO Ross McKim said a final outcome would be decided by council.

The reforms require a council of Geraldton’s size to have between four and eight councillors, excluding the mayor.

Currently, the City of Geraldton has 12 councillors — although one spot is vacant after the resignation of Peter Fiorenza late last year — and Mayor Shane Van Styn.

The City could lose up to eight councillors under the reforms if the maximum number is cut.

Councils have also been told to abolish their ward systems and be made to allow ratepayers to directly elect their mayor, rather than delegating the decision to councillors.

The City previously reduced the number of councillors from 14 to 12 and abolished the ward system in 2019, while the mayor is already popularly elected.

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