VINCENT Mayor John Carey says a ban on State candidates remaining on local council once the election date is known – which operates in some other jurisdictions – would be impractical in WA.
“The date of the State Election is known four years in advance because of the fixed term, so a restriction on councillors remaining in their position would be highly impractical and detrimental to the smooth running of local government,” he said.
Mr Carey said there has “not been a perceived problem” with local councillors remaining in office while running for parliament, mentioning Eleni Evangel, Michael Sutherland, and “the member for Belmont, Glenys Godfrey, who was the Mayor of Belmont while running for State Parliament”.
In New South Wales, independent State MP Clover Moore had sat in State Parliament for 16 years when she was elected Lord Mayor of Sydney.
She was the Member for Bligh and Lord Mayor from 2004-07, and then Member for Sydney and Lord Mayor from 2007-12, when new laws forced her to choose between the two positions.
WALGA chief executive Ricky Burges said there was nothing to prevent Elected Members from running for State or Federal Parliament.
“If they are successful, however, their status as a Member of Parliament would then prevent them from running for office as a Councillor,” she said.
“Elected Members are required to make decisions in the best interests of the communities they represent.
“It is up to each individual to ascertain how their status as a candidate for State or Federal Parliament would impact on the business of their Local Government or their ability to perform in their role as an Elected Member.”
Mr Carey said he was “still working very hard as Vincent Mayor to deliver new projects for the City, including North Perth Public Square, as well as working on major policy reform, including an overhaul of our planning policies”.
“My work at Vincent is not done,” he said.
“It is my intention when the writs are issued to take a leave of absence. I think this is appropriate given I will be committing my full energy to the campaign at that time.”