Calls for an investigation

Calls for an investigation

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The 2021 Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale council.

Councillors have demanded an investigation into the way the election was handled in the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale.

It comes after a motion was put forward by re-elected councillor Rob Coales during Monday night’s Special Council Meeting.

The motion requested that the chief executive write to the minister for local government and the commissioner of the West Australian Electoral Commission to investigate and review the conduct, process and results of the 2021 Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale local government election.

This follows allegations of fraud during this year’s election campaign, including the theft of ballot papers in Byford with a listing Armadale magistrates court next month, stating the same name as a volunteer who was thanked by a candidate during the campaign.

The motion was passed unanimously.

The election results included two re-elections including Rob Coales, who returns to his seat with 32.95 per cent of the vote equating to 1,161 votes.

Gary Singh was elected into the North Ward seat left vacant by retiring councillor Keira McConkey, Mr Singh was elected with 17.20 per cent of the vote.

The North West Ward saw the re-election of Morgan Byas with 47.48 per cent of the vote.

Bill Denholm ran for South Ward this election but was not re-elected as Tricia Duggin, who was a vocal member of the community during the decision to relocate the library in Mundijong to Byford, took the seat with 40.19 per cent of the vote.

During the Special Council Meeting on Monday, councillors re-elected Michelle Rich as the Shire President and Dave Atwell was re-elected as the Deputy Shire President.

The turnout rate for voters in the North Ward was at 29.72 per cent following the alleged theft of 45 to 50 ballot papers last month, which were found by police following a citizen’s arrest on a street in Byford.

North West Ward saw a turnout rate of 24.63 per cent and South Ward saw a turnout rate of 31.30 per cent.

In a statement from the Shire, council thanks those not returning to their seats.

“The shire acknowledges the contributions of Keira McConkey and Bill Denholm who both completed their four-year terms on council at the weekend,” they said.