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Greens leader slams ‘antiquated’ Andrews government proposal to reform local councils

3AW Mornings

The Andrews government is calling for local councils to move from multi-member systems to single-member wards, bucking a recent trend.

The proposed change comes as part of six reforms put forwards by Local Government Minister Adem Somyurek.

Mr Somyurek says the change will make councils more accountable, but the Greens disagree.

Victorian Greens leader Samantha Ratnam has sent a letter to Victorian councillors, calling on them to oppose the change.

“The Victorian Electoral Commission, whose job it is to make sure that elections are fair and equitable, has been recommending, every time they review a council, that a council should move to multi-member wards or unsubdivided systems because they know that means there is going to be a greater diversity of people represented,” she told 3AW’s Tony Jones.

Ms Ratnam said more independents and more women are elected under multi-member systems.

“Residents do want a voice and they want as many of their voices represented as possible,” she said.

“The community actually wants this and yet this government seems to be wanting to slide us backwards into an antiquated system that has much worse outcomes for how local government operates.”

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