Councils back reform
SOUTH PERTH, VIC PARK AMONG SUPPORTERS
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’.”