CITY of Canning Mayor Paul Ng has called into question councillors’ abilities to make decisions on aged care reform after low attendance at a tour of aged and disability facilities.
The 14-venue tour came ahead of the August council meeting, where councillors will decide on the future of City-managed services after a change in the Federal Government funding model.
On July 16, councillors Margaret Hall, Patrick Hall, Ben Kunze and David Brown joined Cr Ng and community development director Tania Trengove on a tour of City of Canning-managed aged care facilities and independent facilities.
Deputy Mayor Lindsay Holland had been present, but left due to illness.
At last Tuesday’s council meeting, Cr Ng called the aged care decision one of the “most important decisions” council would make, lamenting the absence of councillors, who would be uninformed when making a decision next month.
“Unfortunately, one elected member was very ill and had to return home, resulting in only five officially attending the tour,” he said. “Some councillors indicated they would be attending but did not attend or provide an apology.
“Based on the low attendance rate on Saturday, less than half of the elected members will have all the information to make one of the most important decisions in the term of this new council.”
Cr Ng said attending council meetings was not enough for elected members representing a community.
“All elected members will receive the same documentation in print, yet attending organised events in person to see the City’s facilities and how they operate, as well as being present for all of the discussion points, are valuable components of our work to allow us to make crucial informed decisions for this council and its constituents,” he said.
“Throughout our representation on this council, we are required to educate ourselves to the highest level possible as our decisions impact on the Canning community who rely on us to create and implement the future direction of the City.”
In May, the City released an Aged Care and Disability Review, held public meetings and called on the public for submissions before any decision.
More than 170 submissions were received, which pushed the original council decision back a month.
Reflecting on the tour, Cr Margaret Hall said she was impressed by the facilities on offer in Canning. Cr Kunze said he was conscious of the review’s importance.
“I have attended all three community forums that the City has held and in addition, I visited the Rossmoyne Retirement Village to speak to residents at a forum after receiving an invitation as their elected Bannister Ward representative,” he said. “I am very conscious that this review is one of the most important matters that we will consider as a council and it is vital that we understand the issues, know the facilities, and speak to residents and their families in order to make a well informed decision.”