Tony Simpson: Councils should be non-partisan


Tony Simpson.
Liz Storer.
Tony Simpson. Liz Storer.

Four members of the Gosnells council have been in the running in the past two weeks for political positions at both State and Federal level.

Gosnells councillor Terry Healy is the Labor candidate for Southern River, Pierre Yang is running for the upper house and councillor Liz Storer was pre-selected by the Liberal party to run for Burt over the weekend. Gosnells councillor David Goode also put his hand up for Burt, but Ms Storer was pre-selected.

The state council will have to ratify the recommendation of the pre-selection of Ms Storer this Saturday.

Labor candidate for Burt Matt Keogh has already been campaigning for the new seat strongly over the past two months.

Minister for Local Government Tony Simpson, who did serve on a local government council, said councillors were elected to serve their local community.

“While there is nothing in the Local Government Act that prohibits the endorsement of candidates by political parties, I would not support any moves that would increase the participation of political parties in local government,” he said.

“Councillors are elected to represent their local community and not the views of a single political party.”

WA Labor leader Mark McGowan, who was the deputy mayor of Rockingham before entering Parliament, said he believed his work there put him in a solid position to represent the community in Parliament.

“Local councillors have proven to be good community activists before entering Parliament and I’m proud to have a number of councillors on my team for the 2017 State Election,” he said.

“The selection process is democratic and conducted in a way to make sure the best person for the job is preselected.”

City of Gosnells acting chief executive Dave Harris said if more than two council positions were to become vacant, then they would have to go to an extraordinary election.

“An extraordinary election would cost in the order of $200,000,” he said.