Freo's View

DON’T GAG LOCAL COUNCILLORS FROM BEING TRANSPARENT

 

The alleged attempts to silence local councillors and stop them from commenting on social media raise serious concerns about our democracy, although Fremantle councillors are very-almost too- restraint in their use of social media to publish facts to combat the often ridiculous and uninformed comments made by members of the public.

While I understand that Mayors should be the official spokespeople for local councils, it should not stop the other elected members from participating in social media. They are after all our local parliament, so gagging them is like denying a state or federal minister from commenting, because the PM and Premiers are the official spokespeople.

Our Fremantle councillors comment now and then on Facebook and Freo Massive but rarely here on Freo’s View, unless it is local government election time and they want another four years, so they us this platform to increase their public profile. It might well be Fremantle Council policy that only the Mayor can comment on this blog.

I believe the Fremantle community would welcome more engagement on social media with their councillors, as it helps transparency and to clarify issues people might not understand or are not well enough informed about. One should not just leave that to the Mayor and the City of Fremantle’s media people.

It is definitely not up to our State Government to dictate how the elected local members communicate with their community and sensor or gag our councillors. We elected them to govern our city and they are accountable to explain to us why and how.

Roel Loopers

 

 

Roel Loopers

COUNCIL AMALGAMATIONS IN JEOPARDY

Posted in amalgamations, council reform, fremantle, local government by freoview on January 29, 2015

It is not over till the fat lady sings! The WA State Government push for local government reform and council amalgamations is in jeopardy with the latest figures showing a very high percentage of residents voting in the Dadour Act election that can stop the proposed amalgamations.

38.77 % of East Fremantle residents have up to now lodged a postal vote and one can assume most of these will be No votes and against amalgamating the Town of East Fremantle with the City of Fremantle.

A bit further South the City of Cockburn residents don’t seem to be bothered about the proposed amalgamation with the Town of Kwinana but a whopping 44.41% of Kwinana residents have put their votes in, so this is getting extremely close to the required 50 percent of residents to vote to make the vote count. The act requires that 50 % of voters vote against amalgamation and that 50 % of eligible residents take part in the vote to make it valid.

I would be disappointed if Freo and East Freo did not amalgamate. I believe amalgamation is a good step forward to a bigger and more powerful council with new Councillors and a new administration and more money to spend. The paranoia that the present- and by many considered inept-Fremantle Council would run the enlarged new City of Fremantle is wrong as there will be an all new council after elections in either October this year or February 2016, so Fremantle Council will see a big change with new Councillors hopefully bringing new perspectives and visions.

Roel Loopers

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