After a lengthy debate, MidCoast Council voted to accept and respond to three petition presented at the last ordinary meeting for 2018.
At the December 19 meeting in the Taree chambers, members of the community presented the petitions requesting the council be divided into wards allowing for additional councillors, to a total of 15, to be elected.
Petition one had 280 signatures asking to include a ward for the Gloucester area, petition two containing 153 signatures requested Harrington be a ward and petition three had 109 signature for a Wingham area ward.
All three petitions stated the division request be in accordance with Section 210 of the Local Government Act 1993, and the increase of councillors up to the maximum of 15 allowable in accordance with Section 224 of the Local Government Act 1993.
The resolution to have the petitions received and referred to the appropriate council officers for response sparked much debate among the councillors.
The debate centred around whether or not council was the right place for the petitions to be lodged as the decision to divide the area into wards was not a local council matter.
However, as the petitions were presented by members of the community and the council has been voted in by the community, the resolution was brought to a vote, moved by Cr Troy Fowler and seconded Cr Peter Epov.
The vote was unanimous and the motion was passed.
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