WALGA chided for petty politics

VINCENT councillors have expressed their concern over the “petty politics” of the WA Local Government Association.

At the City’s council meeting last week, councillors approved Mayor John Carey’s motion for the chief executive to prepare a report on the costs, benefits and disadvantages of the City continuing its membership of WALGA.

Mr Carey said he was critical of the leadership of the member-based association.

“There are serious issues that need to be pursued,” he said.

“WALGA is out of sync with ratepayer expectation.

“The auditor-general doesn’t have oversight over council audit reports, there is no comparison or analysing of reports – no one is checking that councils meet the obligations of the (Local Government) Act.”

Cr Matt Buckels said the organisation was the victim of petty politics.

“This could be a kick up the arse of WALGA,” Cr Buckels said.

Cr Emma Cole said Vincent’s values were a stark contrast to WALGA’s.

“…I think it is quite good that the mayor has put this forward,” Cr Cole said. “I would like to see better leadership from within. Councils are at odds with WALGA.”

According to Mr Carey’s motion, the association is largely comprised of non-metropolitan local governments, representing around three quarters of all local governments in the State.

“In recent times, WALGA’s position on key policy and political matters has been very different to the positions adopted by the City of Vincent, particularly in relation to the introduction of improved transparency and accountability measures across the sector.”