Absolute majorities vote for change
TOODYAY voted for change for the second time in eight months with last month’s election of newcomers Bill Manning and Craig Brook to the Toodyay Shire Council.
Fresh elections were needed after the resignation in March of former Central Ward Cr Di Granger after less than five months, and former veteran West Ward Cr Sally Craddock’s resignation a month earlier.Read more
New Central Ward Cr Manning polled 169 votes for the town-based seat, giving him a 50.5 per cent absolute majority win over former Shire Deputy President John Prater (99 votes) and Jeff Roberts (67).
In West Ward, new Cr Brook polled 232 votes in a 60 per cent absolute majority win over Tim Hale (87) and Andrew Walker (69).
The voter turn-out was 44 per cent in Central Ward and 41 per cent in West Ward.
This was down on last October’s record 50 per cent across the shire but more than the state regional average of 39.6 per cent.
Cr Brook’s win is the first time a resident from Morangup – where more than half of West Ward’s 1017 registered voters live or own properties – has held a seat on the nine-member council since 2011.
Cr Manning’s term expires in October 2021 and Cr Brook’s in October 2019 when elected terms end also for Crs Judy Dow, Rob Welburn, Eric Twine and Ben Bell.
The council decided in April to consider public calls to abolish electoral ward boundaries and reduce the number of councillors to seven before next year’s elections.
Abolishing wards would enable all Toodyay electors to vote for every candidate in next year’s elections instead of being allowed to vote only for those standing in wards where they are registered to vote.
Shire President Brian Rayner and Deputy President Therese Chitty said in April that they both favour scrapping ward boundaries for council elections.
If the number of councillors is reduced too, all currently occupied seats will be declared vacant and Toodyay voters will gain a one-off right in 2019 to vote for all seven councillors on a single ballot paper.
Candidates polling the highest numbers of votes will win four-year terms, and those with the next highest numbers will be elected for two years.