Ipswich City Council’s decision to seek feedback from residents on the new divisional boundaries for the March 2020 local government elections and beyond has certainly piqued interest in the community.
There have been plenty of questions already since Interim Administrator Greg Chemello launched the discussion paper last Friday outlining the three options under consideration. They are:
- Divided – 1 councillor per division (8 to 12 divisions)
- Divided – 2 or 3 councillors per division (4 to 6 divisions)
“This is a time to openly consider and debate how you would like to be represented by your future Ipswich Council in 2020 and beyond,” Mr Chemello said.
“Would you prefer your councillors to be elected on a divisional basis or across the entirety of the local government area?” the discussion paper asks.
Council has prepared a list of Frequently Asked Questions to hopefully make it simpler for residents over the month of March, when they are asked to share with us how they would like to “shape your council” going forward.
Some of the 40 FAQs include:
Question: How do I share my views with the Interim Administrator directly?
Answer: The best way to get in touch with the Administrator is via [email protected].
Question: Do these proposed models affect anything else i.e. school catchment zones or state/federal electorates?
Answer: No. These are state and federal issues and are not impacted by local government area divisional boundaries.
Question: Is the data in this report based on electoral data (voters) or population data?
Answer: Electoral data has been used as the basis of this report as the Act requires consideration around the number of enrolled voters in a local government area.
Question: What criteria is taken into consideration when reviewing divisional boundaries?
Answer: For an overview of the principles noted in the Act that guide divisional boundary restructure, as well as additional
principles relevant to the City of Ipswich, please see Section 4 of the background document (www.ipswich.qld.gov.au/
Question: If divided is the chosen model, will they remain numerical (ie divisions one to 10) or will they be ‘named’?
Answer: This has not been considered at this stage.
Question: Do we need to have councillors at all?
Answer: Yes. In representative democracies like Australia, citizens entrust the decisions about how they are governed to elected representatives. It is your democratic right to have elected representation. It is also the law. In March 2020, a new group of councillors (and a mayor) will be elected for the City of Ipswich.
Question: Can former councillors run again in March 2020 under all three models?
Answer: Yes, former councillors are eligible to run for council in March 2020, in accordance with the Dissolution of Ipswich City Council Bill 2018. Any person may nominate as a candidate to be councillor only if the person is qualified to be a councillor under the requirements as set out in Section 152 of the Local Government Act 2009.
Question: When do the new boundaries come into effect?
Answer: This depends on the state determining that new boundaries are needed. If a decision is made by the state government, it will come into effect from election day March 2020.
For the full list of Frequently Asked Questions on the Divisional Boundary Review click here.
Public Information Session
A public information session will be held later this month. The session will feature three guest speakers from relevant local government areas who will be presenting on the three models and will be available to answer your questions.
Date: Monday, 25 March
Time: 6.00 pm
Location: North Ipswich Reserve Corporate Centre
2B Pine Street, North Ipswich
For more information or to request a hard copy of the survey please email: [email protected] or call (07) 3810 6666.