Cassowary Coast Regional Council

Divided or Undivided Divided or Undivided

Undivided or Non-Divisional Representation
What does Undivided/Non-Divisional Representation mean?
Councillors nominate for and are elected as representatives for the whole local government area.
Advantages of Undivided/Non-Divisional representation?
1. The significant advantage of area-wide elections for Councillors is that it ensures the fundamental democratic principle of one vote one value, which is the optimum form of democracy in that:
  • all candidates present themselves to all the electors for election; and
  • electors may choose their preferred representatives from the total list of candidates.
2. A whole of Council area electorate establishes a single community of interest encompassing the economic, residential, recreational and social interests of the Council area.
3. The structure does not favour any interest group or geographic location. Councillors make decisions with the best interests of the Council area in mind and are not influenced by divisional attitudes.
4. The lines of communication between members of the community and Council are enhanced, and are not affected by the perception that matters must only be presented to the relevant divisional Councillor(s).
5. ’Communities of interest’ are not affected or divided by arbitrary divisional boundaries.
6. The most supported candidates will be elected, rather than candidates who may be favoured due to peculiarities of the Division, that is elected unopposed or having attracted less votes than defeated candidates from other Divisions.
Disadvantages of ’Undivided/Non-divisional’ representation?
1. The size of the Council area can make it difficult for Councillors to service the whole electorate.
2. Communication and access between Councillors and community members may be diminished. 
3. There may be community confusion on which Councillor issues should be raised with and a perceived lack of direct representation for their area.
4. Potential candidates may be discouraged by the size of the electorate and cost of running for election.
5. The cost of by-elections in area-wide elections can be costly (if an office becomes vacant and requires filling by election).
6. The potential loss of  general representation from smaller parts of the region due to  potentially greater numbers of Councillors being elected from the more populated areas.