Councillors have their say on electoral division removal
COUNCILLORS have had their say on whether electoral divisions in the region should be abolished, following a push by our combined chambers of commerce to advocate for the discussion about their removal.
Cr James Hansen
There are pros and cons for having divisions; when you have them, a divisional councillor knows it very well, and knows the people well, and builds relationships. I'm open to talk about it and see what people have to say. It's got to be driven from the people of the Fraser Coast. If they want it, they've got to advocate for it.
Cr Anne Maddern
As far as I'm concerned, I've not given it further consideration as it's not been raised with me. I haven't had time to consider it.
Cr Paul Truscott
It's something I'd be interested in exploring. I think these options should be open for discussion and council should be thinking regional anyway. I'd also be interested to know more about the investigation and process, and see the feedback from the community on what they want.
Cr Daniel Sanderson
Anything like that always has merit to be looked at, but the divisional system also works very well. There are benefits both ways, but having divisions now, the communities and areas have a direct point of contact. There's a lot of merit in having that. But we are still regional councillors.
Cr David Lewis
There's no perfect answer; if you've got divisions, you get a specialist knowledge of them. Councillors can have an intimate knowledge of each particular area, but you can't guarantee that from a regional perspective. There's also no evidence to show that current councillors aren't showing support for projects across the whole region either.
Cr Darren Everard
I'd welcome any debate on it. I'm not fazed by the divisions; if we're regional, we're regional. To me, a division is just a line on the map, that's my way of looking at it.
Cr Denis Chapman
I'd prefer to leave it the way it is at the moment. It's more cost, and you've now got your own councillor that looks after his/her own area. Changes like this cost money, and we've tried it before and the community didn't want it. That's why it was changed back.
Cr Stuart Taylor
It's a good discussion to have, and see what the community thinks of it. My personal view is that a non-divisional council would better service community, but you could also look at multi-councillor divisions. The community gets the chance to vote for more than one councillor in that sense.
Cr George Seymour
Whether we change to a non-divisional system or keep the divisions is definitely a matter worthy of debate. I am not passionately in favour of either of the two models. We should all be acting in the best interests of the whole region whether we are elected by a division or not. We should always be seeking to ensure that our system of democracy best serves the community.
Crs Chris Loft and Rolf Light were contacted for comment.