WALGA wants clamp on electors

VINCENT council’s annual general meeting of electors is on January 28, 6pm at the Loftus Street chambers.

Vincent’s AGMs are usually a sparsely attended affair with council staff sometimes outnumbering electors. Last year saw a boom of 11 electors, up from the four who came along in 2018 and 2017.

Every elector’s motion getting a majority vote at the AGM has to at least be considered by councillors at their next meeting.

Bayswater councillors are about to do just that at their first meeting back for the year on January 28.

Some of the 20 successful electors’ motions from December’s AGM they’ll vote on include:

• Deborah Bowie’s proposal to rename Carter’s Wetland. She’s suggested Noongar custodians be consulted to see if it’s appropriate to give it a Noongar name. The council bought the block from the Carter family in 2017 to restore the wetlands;

• Georgia Kennedy’s idea to employ an arts and cultural manager to “build the reputation of the City of Bayswater as a home of arts and culture in WA” (a mantle Vincent council’s been trying to don);

• Doug MacLennan’s call for the council to make its Audit and Risk Committee meetings open to the public;

• Greg Smith’s proposal to ban wheel clamping on private land (though Mr Smith’s blunt motion has been watered down a bit, with the proposal to councillors suggesting they just keep an eye on Stirling’s attempts to ban clamping and see if that gets approved by the state government before they take any action).

Mr Smith’s other proposal, that the city lobby state and federal MPs (Lisa Baker and Patrick Gorman) to help free Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, was narrowly defeated 21 to 24 in December.

The 2018 AGM also bore fruit this month, with the realisation of Lazar Radanovich’s motion to save an 80-year-old Kurrajong tree that was going to be pulled out for the Bayswater train station development. It’s now safely sitting in its new patch of soil down the road (Train re-root, Voice, January 18 2020).

WA’s peak council lobby group, WALGA, has been pushing to scrap laws requiring councils to hold electors’ AGMs, but Vincent’s submission to a McGowan government review of the Local Government Act describes them as a useful point of accountability and representation.

by DAVID BELL

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