Tele­vised meet­ings will en­sure trans­parency

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western Opinion -

MY old heart leapt when I be­gan to read in last week’s edi­tion the item about Cottes­loe coun­cil's tele­vi­sion ini­tia­tives.

At last, I briefly thought, US-style long-over­due trans­parency at coun­cil and coun­cil com­mit­tee meet­ings in WA.

A for­mer City Com­mis­sion chair­man in a Cal­i­for­nia city of 75,000 where such meet­ings were tele­cast live on one of the Com­mu­nity Ca­ble chan­nels, I ex­pe­ri­enced first-hand the great value of such trans­parency.

No ex­cuse or room for the cen­sor­ship, eva­sive­ness and ma­nip­u­la­tion of min­utes by the bul­ly­ing, con­trol­ling ad­min­is­tra­tion; no op­por­tu­nity for grand­stand­ing, bizarre be­hav­iour and pur­suit of per­sonal agen­das by elected mem­bers – and to­tal trans­parency, es­pe­cially about col­lu­sion and bloc vot­ing, is en­sured.

More­over, if these dis­grace­ful prac­tices sound like what is on­go­ing in your coun­cil, they more than likely are, even in 2016.

Re­cent cir­cus-like pro­ceed­ings and pan­tomime-style be­hav­iour at coun­cil meet­ings in some western sub­urbs make the machi­na­tions at the tainted Perth City Coun­cil look tame by com­par­i­son.

Cottes­loe coun­cil's com­mend­able sup­port for such trans­parency sets a benchmark that all coun­cils should im­me­di­ately fol­low; the ratepayer com­mu­ni­ca­tion ben­e­fits are ob­vi­ous.

Fail­ure to fol­low the Cottes­loe lead will only en­sure that com­plaints to the Depart­ment of Lo­cal Govern­ment about con­tin­u­ing lack of good gov­er­nance by dis­sat­is­fied and un­happy ratepay­ers con­tinue at what is a sur­pris­ing vol­ume.

It surely is time that to­tal trans­parency in all lo­cal govern­ment ac­tiv­i­ties – es­pe­cially those in­volv­ing coun­cil­lors – be­came en­force­able leg­is­la­tion. Gra­hamHor­nel, Ci­tyBeach.

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