Perth council pushes for WALGA structure changes

Bayswater Civic Centre. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.
Bayswater Civic Centre. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.

BAYSWATER Council wants to see more frequent changeovers of WA Local Government Association (WALGA) State Council members.

The State Council is made up of 24 members from metropolitan and regional councils who are selected from six zones.

Bayswater councillors supported Councillor Giorgia Johnson’s proposal on October 29 for its East Metropolitan Zone members to suggest WALGA to consider to have a maximum term of eight years for state councillors and to not undertake major consultation processes ahead of local government elections at the November zone meeting.

This decision comes after the association requested its member councils to review its governance model.

Crs Johnson, Stephanie Gray and Catherine Ehrhardt are Bayswater’s zone representatives.

The zone’s State Council members are Shire of Mundaring councillor Kate Driver and the City of Kalamunda councillor Brooke O’Donnell.

Currently, there is no maximum term limit for state councillors.

Cr Giorgia Johnson.

Cr Johnson said State Council members were not accountable to people in their local government ward but their zone.

“I’ve had the privilege over the last two years attending our WALGA zone meeting and as deputy state councillor also attending some of the State Council meetings,” she said.

“I’m pleased that WALGA do the structural review as requested.

“My observation is that State Council is a good opportunity to be involved but if only the same person year in and year out gets the opportunity, it is not tested if they are the best person.”

Cr Johnson said it was difficult for Bayswater staff to manage consultation during its caretaker period.

“I know not all councils do it but ours is pretty solid and unique, has some good advantages but not being able to participate in consultation is not one of them,” she said.

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