Boat Harbour moves east – Port Stephens Council changes ward boundaries

PORT Stephens Council is changing its ward boundaries and Boat Harbour is headed east.

Designation of council wards is intended to evenly distribute voter numbers so they are represented by an appropriate number of councillors.

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The Local Government Act 1993 requires that local population numbers be regularly monitored, and that the difference in ward population be no greater than ten percent.

This is to ensure representation of some areas is not disproportionate.

Port Stephens last reviewed its ward boundaries in 2019.

At that time the population variance across wards was only 7.52 percent, but it was decided that ward boundaries should change to allow for the lowest possible variance and to reduce the need for constant changes.

Those amendments were finalised in 2021.

Data from June 2023 has demonstrated a variance of 18 percent and requires that changes be brought into effect by 2024.

Of the proposed changes, Port Stephens Council unanimously opted to move the suburb of Boat Harbour from the central to the east ward, and to transfer 43 electors in Medowie from the central to the west ward.

By Lindsay HALL

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