Hume review concerns

(Damjan Janevski) 228421_03

Concerns about one less councillor representing Sunbury and the possibility of splitting Broadmeadows into two different wards are among the submissions into the Hume council electoral structure review.

Submissions into the review being held by the Electoral Representation Advisory Panel have closed, with Hume council, three current councillors and a former mayor among those voice their opinions.

Under the review, three proposals were put forward. All have single councillor wards, which is now required by the state government.

In all three proposals. Sunbury and the surrounding area will be split into two wards, with Bulla included in two of the three proposals.

Currently three councillors represent the Jacksons Creek ward. There is a Tullamarine ward in each proposal, moving away from the suburb being in the same ward as Sunbury.

Broadmeadows is split into two wards in some of the proposals.

Hume council in its submission said it supported remaining at an 11 councillor council.

It said the council notes that in each of the scenarios the one ward in the north-west of the municipality is both geographically vast and complex in terms of its constituency.

It said that model three is more likely to support good governance and effective representation than the alternatives.

The submission also called for the Bulla township to be retained in full in either one of the Sunbury-based wards.

Current Jacksons Creek ward councillor, Trevor Dance, also called for Bulla to be included in the Emu Creek or Mount Holden wards, which cover a similar area depending on the model.

Current Hume mayor Naim Kurt called for there to be 12th ward to be created, which would mean an extra councillor.

Sunbury resident Chris O’Neill also called for an extra councillor and said no model could be supported based on the growth protections of Hume and Sunbury and that Sunbury would have less representation.

“Sunbury needs more representation, not less.”

Councillor Karen Sherry said she preferred model three as it kept Broadmeadows in one ward, while former mayor Casey Nunn shared similar views saying it best captured the community interest.

Several other submissions also supported model three, including upper house MP Evan Mulholland, while a couple of submissions supported model two.