MLA stands by endorsement

Earlier this month, Mrs Godfrey was pictured with, and endorsed, incumbent councillor Brenda Martin in a west ward newsletter that was distributed to residents’ letterboxes.

Belmont councillors Margie Bass and Paul Hitt have criticised Mrs Godfrey’s actions, claiming local MLAs should not be politically involved in local government elections.

Five candidates are contesting for two vacancies in west ward, including Cr Hitt, whom Mrs Godfrey declined to endorse.

She also declined to endorse east ward candidate and incumbent councillor Janet Gee.

‘My endorsement (of Cr Martin) is based on having seen her good work personally and witnessing the commitment, she has to her ward,’ Mrs Godfrey said.

‘(She) also continues to stay in regular contact and work with me as the local state member.’

Mrs Godfrey said she did not endorse Cr Gee because she had little contact with her since leaving Belmont Council in early 2013.

‘I don’t know much about what she has been doing on behalf of her immediate community or what her intentions are for the east ward,’ she said. ‘Cr Hitt actually asked me to endorse him and I said no, so if he is now saying endorsements are wrong, I will leave that up to the readers to judge.’

Cr Bass, who is not up for re-election, said Mrs Godfrey’s actions could divide a community to vote along party political lines.

‘Never before have I seen members of Parliament in Belmont interfere in local government election by endorsing any candidate over others,’ Cr Bass said.

‘Her actions will further cause other political parties to enter and interfere in local government elections, as they do in the eastern states, which could lead to a future loss of passionate community individuals from standing for local government.’

WA Local Government Association president Troy Pickard said the association encouraged voters to learn as much about potential candidates before deciding who to vote for.