Shire Response to Petition Misinformation

Published on Friday, 24 March 2023 at 2:29:26 PM

Please attribute information in this update to Shire President, Cr Wayne Fewster. 

At the Shire’s March Council meeting on Tuesday, organisers of the recent protest in Guilderton presented a petition to Council calling for the removal of the CEO. Of the 285 signatures received, only 133 were confirmed as being received from registered electors of the Shire of Gingin and 152 were received from non-electors.

The results of the petition have caused the complainant to make misleading comments on social media, see post above, which the Shire wishes to clarify.

In accordance with cl. 5.10 of the Shire of Gingin Meeting Procedures Local Law 2014, which is available from the Shire’s website, petitions must: 

(a)      be addressed to the President;

(b)      be made by electors of the district;

(c)      state the request on each page;

(d)      contain the names, addresses and signatures of the electors making the request, and the date each elector signed;

(e)      contain a summary of the reasons for the request;

(f)      state the name of the person upon whom, and an address at which, notice to the petitioners can be given;

(g)      be respectful and temperate in its language;

(h)      not be defamatory or scandalous, or propose any action that is unlawful; and

(i)       comply with any form prescribed by the Act or any other written law, such as the Local Government (Constitution) Regulations 1996 if, for example, it is –

(i)       a proposal to change the method of filling the office of President; or

(ii)      a submission about changes to wards, the name of a district or ward or the number of councillors for a district.


“The complainant had access to this information prior to instigating the petition and undertook their petition using the form format from our website,” said Shire President Wayne Fewster. “In response to questions received from them prior to the March Council meeting, they were subsequently reminded via email that petition signatories must be from electors in the Shire of Gingin.

“In addition, had those non-electors who signed the petition taken the time to read the petition preamble they would have understood that their signatures would not be counted.

“Making the statement on Facebook that ratepayers’ petitions don’t count with the full knowledge of the correct process is deliberately emotive and disingenuous, and is stirring people up unnecessarily against the Shire and causing more confusion - this is unacceptable and it needs to stop.

“Throughout this whole process the Shire has remained respectful to the complainant. We have not identified them publicly nor denied them any opportunity to have a say about their issues, even when information they have conveyed to the media, Facebook, and other forums has been either incorrect, misleading, or inflammatory.

“With regard to the complainant calling for our CEO to be removed, Council has not received any evidence whatsoever that would justify such an action. And until the petition request has been considered by Council, we strongly urge the complainant, and any other member of the public, to cease making further misinformed comments on the matter.”

A report in relation to the petition will be presented at the April Council meeting.

Shire of Gingin media contact:

Meredith Taylor
T: (08) 9575 5150




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