Georges River Council to consider options on number of wards, councillors and popularly-elected mayor

Georges River Council will consider the options available to change the number of its wards, the number of councillors and whether to have a popularly-elected mayor.

A report going to next week's council meeting will outline a range of options available and whether to proceed with any alterations to the number of wards in the Georges River local government area.

The council will also consider whether to explore any boundary adjustments to align with Federal Electoral Boundaries.

Under the Local Government Act, councils are required to alter their ward boundaries if the number of electors between the wards in its areas differs by more than 10 per cent.

While the council currently complies with the requirement of the Act, ongoing development in the local government area is likely require ward boundary adjustments.

The report to be considered by the council next week puts forward nine options for boundary adjustments along electoral divisions.

It also provides options for the number of wards and councillors, ranging from zero wards up to the current five wards.

A council must have at least five and not more than 15 councillors. A council divided into wards must have at least three councillors per ward, which is currently the case at Georges River Council.

The report shows there are big savings by reducing the number of councillors.

The average annual cost per councillor at Georges River is $133,530.

Georges River Council currently has 15 councillors with a combined annual cost of $1,702,950.

Reducing the number to five councillors would save the council $1,135,300 per annum.

The council would need to hold a constitution referendum if it decided to seek changes to ward boundaries, the number of wards and councillors and the introduction of a popularly elected mayor.

This would probably be held as part of the 2020 council elections.

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