WHILE WA voters have generally returned to their council election slumber after 2017’s amalgamation-driven spike, Melville and Fremantle have bucked the trend.
A sometimes bitter mayoral campaign saw Melville’s participation rate of 34.74 per cent punch above the WA average of 26 per cent, spiking to 37.31 per cent in the battleground Applecross-Mount Pleasant ward where dissatisfaction with high-rise development was a key campaign issue.
The Central, Palmyra-Melville-Willagee, Bateman-Kardinya-Murdoch, Bicton-Attadale-Alfred Cove and Bull Creek-Leeming wards achieved return figures of 35.93, 29.57, 33.15, 36.22 and 36.25 per cent respectively.
Fremantle’s South Ward has been dominated by debate about South Terrace’s infamous speed humps, which helped it record the highest turnout in the metropolitan area at 41.20 per cent
Hilton, East, City, North and Beaconsfield wards polled at 37.11, 29.14, 35.54, 30.89 and 34.17 per cent each.
By comparison, uncontroversial Cockburn averaged just 25.21 per cent, in line with the rest of WA. East Fremantle’s South and East Wards were 26.07 and 30.14 per cent respectively, following a relatively quiet campaign.
The highest turnout by far in WA was in the Shire of Victoria Plains, where up to 69.39 per cent of historic wheatbelt’s voters returned their forms – it helps when you’ve got just 444 voters all up.
The lowest response came from North West shires with predominantly indigenous voters. One of East Pilbara’s three wards had just 8.33 per cent returned. The neighbouring Shire of Ashburton received 18 votes from 99 sent, a dismal 18.18 per cent.
by JUSTIN STAHL