Local Government Minister Ljiljanna Ravlich has welcomed the tabling of the Corruption and Crime Commission report into the Smiths Beach development at Yallingup.
Ms Ravlich said she accepted the three recommendations relating to local government contained in the report.
“I have instructed the Department of Local Government and Regional Development to provide me with recommendations on ways to strengthen current guidelines and legislation that deals with matters raised in the report,” she said.
“The Government has already passed the Official Conduct Amendment Act, which comes into operation on the 21st of October and will provide a means for the suspension of individual councillors.
“The new provisions establish a statewide standards panel to deal with complaints about minor breaches and gives the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) powers to review serious breaches of official conduct.
“The SAT will have additional powers to suspend a member for a period of up to six months or disqualify a member from holding office in any local government for a period of up to five years.”
Ms Ravlich said that for the first time, it would be possible to suspend or disqualify individual councillors rather than suspend a whole council.
The Minister said the Department already had guidelines titled ‘Elected Members’ Relationships with Developers’, which became effective in April 2006.
“The CCC report does highlight a clear need to strengthen and formalise these and I will be seeking the Department’s and WALGA’s response regarding this matter,” she said.
“I have also sought the advice of the Department and the State Solicitors in respect to temporary step-down provisions, pending inquiry outcomes, for local government elected members who are subject to misconduct inquiries.”
Ms Ravlich said the community expected the highest standards from its public officers and the Department would be investigating the introduction of mandatory induction programs for elected members.
Minister's office - 9213 6800