A MYAREE resident says his neighbourhood will be unfairly disadvantaged by Melville council’s decision not to hold a by-election to replace Lisa O’Malley.
Ms O’Malley had represented the Palmyra/Melville/Willagee ward from 2015 until the March state election, with her successful run for the new state seat of Bicton forcing her to resign her council position.
Melville council applied to the WA Electoral Commission to hold off on a by-election until the ordinary council elections in October, which was recently approved.
But Myaree resident and long-time council watcher Rod Evans says that’s too long for locals to go without one of their representatives on the council.
He says without both ward councillors there to lobby for them, the suburbs might miss out on local council projects.
“I could understand it if the term finished in October this year, as they’d only have a few months before having to go through another election, but Lisa’s term was due to end in 2019, so they’d have enough time to make a by-election worthwhile,” Mr Evans said.
Melville council CEO Shayne Silcox said there was a provision in the Local Government Act to hold off the by-election.
“Holding an extraordinary election alongside the usual local government election cycle is significantly more cost effective and also time-effective in that ratepayers and electors are not called to vote twice within three months,” Dr Silcox said.
“Elected voting, councillors represent the whole City of Melville, not one ward, and this is clearly understood in reading the Local Government Act 1995.”