Coun­cils back re­form


Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Front Page - Tim Mayne

THE City of South Perth and the Town of Vic­to­ria Park were among five coun­cils that backed a failed mo­tion aim­ing to make coun­cils more trans­par­ent and ac­count­able.

THE City of South Perth and the Town of Vic­to­ria Park were among five coun­cils that backed a mo­tion to make coun­cils more trans­par­ent and ac­count­able.

How­ever, the mo­tion, put for­ward by City of Vin­cent Mayor John Carey at the WA Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion (WALGA) gen­eral meet­ing on Wed­nes­day, Au­gust 5, was ul­ti­mately de­feated eight to five in a se­cret bal­lot.

Af­ter a week of public scru­tiny over Fed­eral politi­cians’ al­lowances, Mr Carey re­quested on be­half of the City of Vin­cent that WALGA ad­vo­cate for re­forms that would en­hance lo­cal gov­ern­ment trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity.

The City of Vin­cent has adopted a public register of coun­cil­lors’ con­tact with de­vel­op­ers and an online register of gifts and hos­pi­tal­ity.

It also has a to­tal ban on travel al­lowances and pub­licly re­ports all cor­po­rate credit card ex­pen­di­ture.

City of South Perth Mayor Sue Do­herty said she sup­ported the mo­tion be­cause the coun­cil recog­nises the im­por­tance of ac­count­abil­ity in their ac­tions and in the de­ci­sion-mak­ing process.

“The lo­cal gov­ern­ment re­form process re­in­forced the need to re­main trans­par­ent, ac­count­able and have open com­mu­ni­ca­tion with our lo­cal com­mu­nity,”she said.

“We have in place a num­ber of rig­or­ous con­trols that have been de­signed to en­sure that there is trans­parency of process and ac­count­abil­ity.”

Town of Vic­to­ria Park Mayor Trevor Vaughan said he backed Mr Carey’s mo­tion as the rules would then be clear to ev­ery­body.

“I think we are al­ready trans­par­ent and fol­low the acts.

“It is al­ways worth another look at the pro­cesses and mak­ing sure they are trans­par­ent, be­cause things change over time,” Mr Vaughan said.

Mr Carey was an­gry that other coun­cil mem­bers voted against his mo­tion.

“I’m an­gry on be­half of ratepay­ers be­cause I think it is a fail­ure by the sec­tor to re­alise re­form is needed,” Mayor Carey said.

“I think it was deeply dis­ap­point­ing that the sec­tor would not even em­brace a dis­cus­sion.

“They shut down the de­bate, they said ‘no we don’t even want to dis­cuss this’.”

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