Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

Councils seen as extensions of State government

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If recent decisions of the RCoW have left you feeling that councils are “not-very-sexy extensions of state government”, you are not alone. The Australian Local Government Association feels the same way too as the following extract from the ALGA Newsletter shows.

It became apparent in our new council when the mayor, Don Joyce, supported the fluoridation of Wangaratta’s water in principal as it was an initiative of the State government.

The joined-up Government Centre and the Joint RCoW/Tafe library are further examples of our council taking decisions supporting State Government institutions and passing the bill on to the ratepayers.

The State controls on local government are over the top. When you elected your council, each councillor had to swear allegiance to the State Government. Confidentiality rules brought in in 2004 deem everything discussed in non-public forums by councillors and committee members to be confidential under a penalty of $10,000 and banishment from public office.

In State Government documents, local councillors are often referred to as ‘local government representatives’. Does this mean they represent you at the local government level or does it mean that our elected councillors are local representatives of the State Government?

Either way, very few of the current RCoW councillors can be perceived as representing ratepayers.

Written by Greg Naylor

2 July 2006 at 2:43 pm

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