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Greens Release Plan to Strengthen Local Government

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Tags: Local Government, Legislation, Local Government Elections

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens’ Local Government spokesperson

The Greens will reform the Local Government Act to strengthen local councils, and protect the governance of our regions and the interests of their communities.

The Greens’ plan will require the State Government to bear the costs of Boards of Inquiries, and prohibit a councillor dismissed by a Board of Inquiry to stand for re-election for four years. Our reforms will build incentives for good behaviour and timely action on issues and conflict.*

The Liberals have failed councils and local communities. They failed to intervene in a timely manner to stamp out allegations of fraud, corruption and misconduct in several councils across Tasmania.

The costs of Boards of Inquiry processes have been levied to councils, hitting their long-term financial viability, and there are still municipalities without a democratic voice.

We will legislate to require the State Government to cover the costs of Boards of Inquiry.

The prospect of having to cover any costs will be a powerful incentive for the Minister for Local Government, and their Department, to put more energy into supporting councillors, establishing stronger governance processes, and responding to allegations of corruption. Our plan will ultimately save ratepayers from paying for costs that were never their fault.

The collapse of the Huon Valley and Glenorchy City councils demonstrates stronger incentives are required to encourage councillors to cooperate.

The Greens’ plan will amend the Local Government Act so when a councillor is, or all councillors are, dismissed through a Board of Inquiry process, those councillors will not be eligible for re-election for four years.  Currently, nothing stops a dismissed councillor from immediately running for re-election.

Councils are the backbone of local communities. It’s their services and governance that are essential for strong and resilient towns and cities, and the Greens are committed to protecting the integrity of our democracy.