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Vote drop: Ratepayers show even less interest in local government

Mark Irwin will remain mayor of Western Australia’s biggest council, and now takes the title of the City of Stirling’s first popularly elected boss.

Last night Mr Irwin beat closest rival Elizabeth Re by 6128 votes.

In the past City of Stirling councillors had the power to choose their own mayor.

Mr Irwin said he was pleased with voter turnout, which had remained stable in Stirling at 26 per cent with 38,018 votes cast.

He believed ratepayers had been happy with a period of stable leadership at the council against a backdrop of chaos in other areas including the high profile issues facing Perth.

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“I’m really happy with the support from the community,” Mr Irwin said.

“I think people have really appreciated the fact that Stirling has been pretty stable over the last couple of years and we have delivered on all of the major projects that we promised.”

He was focusing on the major Stirling City Centre project which would open up large areas of vacant land for development. The redevelopment of Karrinyup Shopping Centre and Westfield at Innaloo were also big projects already underway.

Mr Irwin was hoping to secure $100 million funding from the Federal government to trial a trackless trams project to connect Glendalough to Scarborough.

Former Labor MP and federal minister George Gear won the City of Melville vote, with 42 per cent. The count in Melville got underway late yesterday after some last minute door-knocking encouraged people to hand in their votes on the day.

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Mr Gear told residents they deserved better than the tumultuous leadership that had lead to a government investigation and he planned to use his substantial government experience to ensure the council made better decisions.

He ousted Russell Aubrey, who was disappointed that major project the Alfred Cover wave park was scuppered at the last minute by the state government and endured the Roe 8 controversy.

In South Perth Greg Milner won with 63 per cent.

The state government is reviewing the Local Government Act.

Mr Avent said history showed the arrival of the postal vote resulted in a jump in participation. As part of the review the government was considering electronic voting the possibility of making it compulsory.

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