Wattle Range Council to review structure

Wattle Range Council will soon ask for comment about the current structure of council which has been unchanged since its foundation in 1997.

For the past 24 years following the voluntary merger of the Millicent, Beachport and Penola councils, there has been an elected-at-large mayor as well as 11 councillors spread over four wards.

Under the Local Government Act, all councils in South Australia are obliged to review their structure every eight years.

As a result, council deputy chief executive Paul Duka (pictured) presented a 49-page discussion paper to the March monthly council meeting in Millicent.

“By way of background an elector representative review gives council and our community the opportunity to examine its present composition and structure and allows the opportunity to plan and implement changes that will better reflect the future requirements of the community,” Mr Duka said.

After a brief debate, it was decided to start the formal review process in line with Mr Duka’s recommendations and the legislative requirements.

The representation review will explore whether council should keep this structure or change the method of appointing the Mayor, have fewer members, or change to a no ward structure.

If ward boundaries change, there is a possibility of reviewing the names of the wards which all commemorate deceased males.

One of the wards honours the memory of the Right Honourable Algernon Hawkins Thomond Keith-Falconer, 9th Earl of Kintore who became South Australian Governor at the age of 36 in 1889 and served for six
years.

As well as Kintore Ward, the British aristocrat had a lizard named after him in 1893.

The review is expected to be completed by October and council has set aside a sum of $25,000 in its 2020/21 budget for the consultative process.

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