Pursuant to standing order 67(3), the following motion by Hon Aaron Stonehouse was moved pro forma on 15 September —

That the Local Government (Rules of Conduct) Amendment Regulations 2020 published in the Government Gazette on 14 August 2020 and tabled in the Legislative Council on 18 August 2020 under the Local Government Act 1995, be and are hereby disallowed.

Comments and speeches by various members

HON ALISON XAMON (North Metropolitan) [9.23 pm]: I am hoping that the government will be able to answer the question posed by my colleague, Hon Robin Chapple. The key thing is that, quite clearly, there has to be the distinction between governance and administrative function. There is no doubt that that has been an issue, one that the government has attempted to resolve. There is no doubt that the act is inadequate and that the previous regulations created more uncertainty than anything else. There is clearly a need for new regulations. The question here is whether the regulations in front of us today actually achieve the outcomes we are seeking—to make it quite clear that elected representatives cannot interfere in day-to-day administrative functions, but can still retain the capacity to avail themselves of independent legal advice in order to achieve their governing functions. If there can be clarity on whether these regulations as presented will continue to enable that to happen, it will help resolve this issue. If the solution is that we simply will not know until someone appears in front of the Local Government Standards Panel, that is clearly an utterly inappropriate answer, as is being told that people cannot access legal advice unless they go through either the CEO or their delegate. That is also a wholly inappropriate response. The simple question is: do the regulations in front of us today still enable councillors in a local government to obtain independent legal advice or not?

Comments and speeches by various members


Question put and a division taken, the Deputy President casting his vote with the ayes, with the following result —

Ayes (17)

Noes (12)

Question thus passed.


Parliamentary Type: