Shake up in WA

WA State Local Government minister David Templeman wants the power to target Local Government Councillors who bring a Council into disrepute.

The WA Local Government Act is being reviewed in the wake of the suspension of the City of Perth Council. Mr Templeman told local media the Act doesn’t have a provision to deal with an individual who might through their actions affect the standing of an entire Council.

“There’s no capacity to deal with that person individually…[their] behaviour can culminate in poisoning the entire organisation,” he said. Mr Templeman said he intended to introduce legislation to remedy that problem.

The review of the Local Government Act is taking part in two stages. The first stage is looking at accountability, standards and making information available online. The next stage of the review will begin later this year.

“You can stream most things now; it’s not big technology, it’s not expensive technology,” Mr Templeman said. “Will that improve transparency? Yes. Will it improve, perhaps, the behaviour of some councillors during council meetings? Probably yes too.” Mr Templeman said councillors could deflect a lot of criticism by embracing technology.