Friday, December 21, 2012

It's time for political transparency in Local Government

As the Quick Brown Fox highlighted in yesterday’s freebie article, partisan politics is alive and well in Local Government – and Cottesloe Mayor Kevin Morgan and (according to Mr Morgan) Premier Colin Barnett, are both very aware of it.
While that might not come as a great surprise to many of us with a political background, Candidates in Local Government elections are not compelled to disclose political affiliations at any time – prior to, during, or even after their term as Councillors.
Don’t get us wrong, we see no problem with Local Government Councillors holding membership to political organisations. In fact we think Local Government could and probably should play a more active role in training future MP’s.
However, just as it’s important for voters to be aware if an elected representative is also a property developer who might personally benefit from a planning decision before Council, we believe the State vs Cottesloe et al (‘Councils for Democracy’) stoush demonstrates that it’s equally as important for political interests to be openly declared.
We guess that neither of the major parties will be keen to commit to a regulation that compels Local Government Candidates and Councillors to publicly declare their political affiliations for obvious reasons, but given 2013 will see both a State and Local Government general election, we thought the timing was right to raise the issue.
We will post the Liberal-National list on Monday and others as they come to our attention, but if you didn’t think Local Government was party political, here’s a list of members of the Labor Party who are both Candidates for the State election and current Councillors:

Local Govt Councillors who are also ALP State Election Candidates

Karen Steele
City of Bunbury ...

It's time for political transparency in Local Government

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