Melville council to enter caretaker period ahead of October local govt elections

Melville council to enter caretaker period ahead of October local govt elections

MELVILLE council has voted to introduce a caretaker period ahead of October’s local government elections.

The caretaker period, which begins from the date candidate nominations close on September 14, is designed to limit major decision-making that may run contrary to the intentions of an incoming council.

It is also intended to ensure public resources and council decisions during the local government election period are not seen to be advantaging existing councillors seeking re-election.

The policy was the subject of a lively deputation at the July ordinary meeting of council, where Alfred Cove Action Group members David Maynier and Clive Ross raised concerns a caretaker period would leave too much power in the hands of chief executive Shayne Silcox.

Councillors elected to defer a decision until August and a revised version of the policy was voted through 9-2 in front of an empty public gallery last Tuesday.

Dr Silcox said the policy would help ensure major decisions were avoided during the period of added pressure and public scrutiny that precedes an election.

“Our community rightfully have an expectation that council decisions reflect their wishes as a whole, that we as a City conduct our business in a transparent and accountable manner and that elections are conducted in an ethical, fair and equitable way,” he said.

While the policy deals primarily with local government elections, Councillor Cameron Schuster successfully moved an amendment requiring sitting councillors who nominate for State or Federal parliament to take a leave of absence and forfeit all of their sitting fees and allowances until the outcome of the election is determined.

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