Shire: we won’t pay

Darren Jones, Raj Eshmald, Sue Bilich and Ian Toleman promoting Kalamunda Bike Week.
Darren Jones, Raj Eshmald, Sue Bilich and Ian Toleman promoting Kalamunda Bike Week.

At a meeting of the council on Monday, Shire President Sue Bilich said the local government was ‘not happy with WALGA’ and felt it was not ‘looking after the interest of the council or doing the right thing’.

She said WALGA had diluted poll provisions that would allow councils to have a vote on its governance arrangements.

Shire chief executive Rhonda Hardy said the annual payments to WALGA totalled between $35,000 and $40,000.

The Shire is understood to have been billed for the membership at the end of June, with a 90-day period for payment.

Ms Hardy said she intended to notify WALGA of the council’s decision at a meeting yesterday.

In Monday’s meeting, Ms Bilich revealed to the council an email sent by WALGA president |Troy Pickard on August 24 addressed to ‘State Councillors and Zone Delegates’ about recent council unrest.

Mr Pickard urged councillors to give an email sent by Stephen Tindale from the City of Subiaco ‘close and critical examination’ after Mr Tindale proposed a motion to review ‘a number of issues aligned to WALGA’s governance arrangements.’

‘I make this request because it is my belief that a disaffected few are agitating against the association in an attempt to destabilise the sector and bully the organisation ” behaviour that is not healthy, either for WALGA or the sector as a whole,’ Mr Pickard wrote.

‘Is there really any concern, or is this just a mischievous act by a few individuals with fading relevance to disrupt the Association and the sector who are looking to lash out at someone or something to mask their own insecurities?’

Mr Pickard defended the association’s conduct.

‘Over the past 10 years, the association has reviewed its constitution five times, reviewed its Governance Charter four times and as recently as 2011 engaged an independent consultant to embark on a root and branch review of the Association in full consultation with all Zones,’ he wrote.

‘No council has the right to pre-empt WALGA’s policy process with the use of financial threats.’