Councillors face training requirement
■ WA councillors could have their pay withheld or be forced to recontest their seats if they shirk compulsory training under proposals put to councils.
Either move would be an Australian-first because, though South Australia already mandates council training, it does not enforce such penalties.
Other ways of boosting the number of councillors in training programs include paying bonuses or making requirement.
The State Government wants to make some training compulsory amid concerns many councillors do not know how to handle conflicts of interests or their role in the planning process.
Mandatory training was proposed by the Robson report, which also recommended roughly halving the number of Perth councils.
A WA Local Government Association discussion paper proposed
it a preelection options, ranging from making voluntary training more attractive to compulsory training with strategies to enforce it.
The most serious proposed penalties were withholding allowances or sitting fees or declaring a councillor’s position vacant.
Local Government Minister Tony Simpson said he was committed to ensuring more and better training for councillors.
WALGA president Lynne Craigie said the lobby group did not support mandatory training.