MidCoast Council Cr Kathryn Bell wants electors to decide how their mayor is elected.
She has a notice of motion before today's (August 14) council meeting seeking to "assert the right of electors to determine the method of election of their mayor."
She explains that the Local Government Act 1993 provides two methods by which a mayor can be elected - by popular vote at an ordinary election or by vote among the councillors.
"Section 228 of the Act permits a council to change the way the mayor is elected by seeking approval of its electors at a constitutional referendum. Council would need to resolve to hold a constitutional referendum. If electors at a constitutional referendum conducted in conjunction with the 2020 ordinary council elections approve a change to the way the mayor is elected, that change will come into effect for the electoral term commencing in September 2024."
Prior to the merger in 2016, Greater Taree City Council had a popularly elected mayor while both Great Lakes and Gloucester councillors determined who was mayor.
Her notice of motion is:
- Asserts the right of electors to determine the method of election of their Mayor
- Directs the general manager to take the necessary steps to prepare a constitutional referendum to be conducted in conjunction with the 2020 ordinary council elections. The referendum question of electors in the MidCoast Local Government Area will be to determine whether the electors wish to change the basis on which the mayor attains office to the mayor being elected by the electors.
The meeting will be held at the Taree chamber starting at 2pm.