Cities Set to Adopt Caretaker Controls

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THE City of Bayswater could adopt a caretaker election period policy by March.

Councillors voted unanimously at the last general meeting for 2015 that a report on the proposed policy should be presented to the council for debate and adoption no later than March.

Main caretaker practices by State and Federal governments ensure that significant appointments are not made, no commitments are made to major contracts, major policy decisions are not taken and public sector officers do not use public resources or their positions to support political activities.

Cr Brent Fleeton, who moved the motion for the report, said he found it strange a meeting was held in October last year so close to the local government election.

He said most states had the policy but not the WA government, so it was up to the City to enforce its own policy.

“March gives us time to implement it ahead of the October, 2017, election,” he said.

Mayor Barry McKenna concurred: “The policy is not in our act yet, but it probably should be,” he said.

“I have no problem with our own policy.

Bassendean Mayor John Gangell hoped to have a similar policy adopted for the Town of Bassendean council.

North Metropolitan MLC Peter Katsambanis called for local governments to adopt caretaker provisions in October last year.

He said in State Parliament there needed to be better standards of governance.

Premier Colin Barnett said there was merit in caretaker period policies and that they were practical.