Healy’s proposal for online gift register popular with big gallery

Councillor Terry Healy proposed that the City’s chief executive make Gosnells’ elected member and employee gift register publicly accessible in electronic form on the website.

Mr Healy said it would “further enhance the positive reputation, governance and transparency of the City of Gosnells in the community.”

The almost full gallery exploded into applause following Mr Healy’s statement and when the councillors voted for the motion to pass.

Currently elected members are required to make known any gifts or relevant contributions through an annual returns process, with the chief executive required to manage a gift register which can be made available to ratepayers on request.

Mr Healy said he was not on a witch hunt and was sure none of the elected members had done anything wrong.

“It is about making information easily accessible to residents and ratepayers,” he said.

Several Gosnells councillors voted against the motion, including deputy mayor Julie Brown, who said she could not support the motion and if people wanted to come and view the gift register, they could.

Councillor David Good said he would support it, but it was overkill to some extent.

Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi came under scrutiny for failing to disclose gifts before the local government elections in October last year.

The State Government has included a requirement for an online gift register to be completed for all elected members in the City of Perth Bill that is currently before Parliament.

This will require elected members to register relevant gifts and contributions to travel with their chief executive within 10 days of receiving it, and for the chief executive in turn to publish the register on their local government’s website.

This requirement will come into effect if the legislation as currently drafted passes through Parliament.