Vincent to stick with WALGA

VINCENT city council has decided to stick with the WA Local Government Association.

Mayor John Carey has been fuming since WALGA brass rejected his plan to introduce stricter transparency measures at last year’s state conference, but his CEO Len Kosova has looked into withdrawing and says it’ll be too costly.

Mr Kosova says the $50,000 annual subscription fee gets Vincent access to WALGA staff and councillor training, as well as big group buying power.

Despite his low opinion of the WALGA leadership Mr Carey says he won’t abandon those savings just to prove a point: “I’m not going to cut off our nose to spite our face,” he says, and councillors unanimously voted to remain a member.

“But I have no faith or confidence in the WALGA leadership. I will not be attending the WALGA conference or wasting ratepayers money attending their workshops or dinners.”

Mr Carey had been pushing mandatory online gift and travel registers, but was roundly shot down by a huge majority of councillors from other local governments.

Some of his ideas have subsequently been imposed by the state government anyway.

Mr Carey says the conferences are “more about celebrating longevity in local government and patting themselves on the back and saying ‘these are all the things we’re doing well’ instead of looking at the state of the sector and seeing what needs to be reformed”.

Current WALGA head Lynne Craigie, the shire president for East Pilbara council, has long maintained they already promote “best practice” in transparency and governance.

by DAVID BELL

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