Coun­cil­lors face train­ing re­quire­ment

Pilbara News - - News - Kate Emery

■ 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.

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