Wholehearted support for increased transparency

Local Government Minister Tony Simpson last month said he intended to work with the Opposition to introduce transparency and accountability regulations.

�Gift and travel disclosures will need to be declared within 10 days of receiving them and they will need to be available for inspection on the website of local governments,� Mr Simpson said.

The announcement came after Perth Mayor Lisa Scaffidi was found by the Corruption and Crime Commission to not have declared a $36,000 BHP-Billiton paid trip to the Beijing Olympics.

Premier Colin Barnett said a higher level of accountability was needed sooner than June, 2016.

�We think there does need to be a higher level of accountability on gifts, particularly on travel and accommodation,� Mr Barnett said.

Cr Italiano said the City would adhere to the timeframe and it was already a statutory requirement under local government regulations that gifts must be disclosed within 10 days.

�The City has gone beyond this in that council last week resolved to improve openness and transparency,� he said.

WA Local Government Association (WALGA) president Lynne Craigie said she was disappointed not to have been provided with the opportunity to gauge members’ response and contribute to the proposed amendments, as there had been no formal consultation from the Government.

Mrs Craigie said WALGA supported transparency in local government and she did not see any problems with the changes or creating online lists, which could help some councillors with their jobs.