Look out, the ******** and ********* might be back...

Oh no, it’s now less than two weeks until the local government elections. All manner of boofheads, corruption-allegers, one issue zealots, closet developers, lying developers, and the self-interested are lining up. What a pleasant respite it has been for those in the merged councils. Administrators taking notice of staff recommendations and adopting them, no councillor pressure, no councillors failing to declare their property interests, none of the things that give local government a bad reputation.

We understand the complications of being involved in the assessing of DAs. For every successful applicant there are invariably unsuccessful objectors and that creates a pool of people interested in getting even. And vice versa. Despite Codes of Conduct we know councillors pressure staff, threaten staff and try to have staff members sacked.

depa and its members have now for more than a decade taken action to support members against unreasonable treatment of councillors. We first placed a ban on a councillor in 2000 at Parramatta where the boofhead in a public meeting bagged a couple of our members. We extracted an apology. We’ve taken similar action at Mudgee and Nambucca against developers, at Eurobodalla against a councillor, bans were placed on certain work at Parramatta again in 2009 and last year against the recidivist councillor who may well be back after 9 September (but at Cumberland, so at Parramatta they can breathe easier) and we will continue to do so.

If you’re reading this but not a member, it’s time to get on board. Being a professional working in local government is far too unpredictable to be doing it without our protection.

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