Freo's View


Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 19, 2013

When the people of Fremantle and the rest of Western Australia vote for their local council representatives today, the City of Canning’s 51,000 eligible voters are denied their democratic right because Canning council was suspended in November last year and a commissioner appointed.

An initial inquiry by the Department of Local Government and adverse findings-not yet investigated-were found against Council, not staff members. The Department withheld Councillors “natural justice submissions”, but as a result of public pressure the authorised inquiry, with similar powers to a Royal Commission, will now be held publicly and transcripts of proceedings uploaded daily.

Two councillors resigned, and as off today the term for the mayor and four councillors expires, which only leaves 4 elected members, which is not enough to make up a Council.

If the Authority inquiry finishes on time in March 2014 there is just enough time for a special election, but if any delays occur that will be impossible and Canning might end up with a single part-time Commissioner for years, which seems rather undemocratic to me.

Local Government is highly important and it is imperative that the Canning shambles will be dealt with as a priority, so the people can have their say on who represents them. An unelected Commissioner is not the solution and is a slap in the face of democracy.

Roel Loopers

P.S. Find out more on Diana Ryan’s Canning Accountability blog!

3 Responses

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  1. Julie Matheson said, on October 21, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Reblogged this on Local Govt. and Subiaco and commented:


  2. dianaryan said, on October 19, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    Well thank you, Colin!

    I’m happy to say the Minister for Local Govt, when we met, could appreciate that keeping a Commissioner in place for years would effectively shut down the development of new councillors for Canning.

    Given that Canning (like Freo) is a strategic activity centre and Gosnells (our merger partner) is not, this will need to be addressed if Canning is not to be disadvantaged in the Brave New World of Mergers.


  3. Colin Nichol said, on October 19, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Not wishing to seriously disagree with your sentiments or with the magnificent Diana Ryan, Roel, but – what is happpening there is itself a part of the democratic process. What caused the problem there was not.


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