- McGowan Government progresses legislation to suspend or dismiss a council member
- Priority legislation aims to improve local government accountability and protect public
- Power to order action such as training or mediation also included in Bill
Legislation to provide the Minister for Local Government the power to suspend or dismiss an individual councillor was introduced into State Parliament today.
The Local Government Amendment (Suspension and Dismissal) Bill 2018 is a McGowan Government priority to ensure greater accountability from elected members, focusing on those who are failing to appropriately perform their duties or functions.
It also applies to individual elected members that are affecting the local government's ability to function effectively.
The legislative amendments will mean the Minister can take action to prevent disruption to council operations so that a local government can continue providing good governance and services to their communities.
Under the legislation, the Minister will be able to use the suspension powers if:
- A council member is charged with an offence that, if convicted, will disqualify them from being a council member;
- An allegation of a serious breach of the Local Government Act 1995 has been referred to the State Administrative Tribunal;
- A council member is failing to perform their role, functions or duties as defined in the Act and the Minister is satisfied that the seriousness or duration of the suspected failure requires intervention; and
- A council member's conduct is affecting the ability of the local government to function effectively.
A full copy of the Bill is available on the Parliament of Western Australia's website at http://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/parliament/bills.nsf/WebCurrentBills
Comments attributed to Local Government Minister David Templeman:
"This is an important and overdue reform that will increase the State's powers for the benefit of the community.
"Currently, action can only be taken against an entire council and these restrictions have frustrated the Western Australian community.
"The McGowan Government is seeking to rectify this and provide greater public confidence in local government by protecting the reputation of the sector from the actions of an individual.
"I am confident that the implementation of these amendments to the Act will ensure council members are held accountable for their actions, and deliver better outcomes for the Western Australian community."
Minister's office - 6552 5400