Uh oh, …

Only a couple of months for local government elections in September 2017 which will see elections for the first time in the twenty merged councils.

The mergers, which involved the sacking of Auburn, Hurstville and Parramatta, to nominate just three at random, meant that councillors who were making life hard for nearly everyone as they looked after their own interests were sacked - to be replaced by administrators to act as the Council to merge the previously existing local governments into larger, more vibrant and better financed organisations.

But there is significant speculation some of those councillors mercifully removed by the proclamation may be back. We have been critical of the soft provisions of the Local Government Act which led to an inability to remove councillors behaving badly. Short periods of suspension which are voided by councils being sacked mean that, unlike the rugby league season when you are penalised and the suspension and the games missed carries over to the next season, these people just get away with it.

And the courts, whether it be NCAT on appeal or the Supreme Court, show a reluctance to support the standing down of democratically elected people, regardless of their behaviour, simply because they are democratically elected. The fact that idiots, shonks, dodgy closet developers, bullies, Code of Conduct breachers, those who fail to declare financial interests, self-seekers and crooks are elected democratically doesn’t provide them with a halo, or a mantel of respectability.

Something has to be done.

Next month, we’ll run through a few of the suspensions and also our proud history of implementing bans and supporting members as they stand up for themselves against unacceptable Councillor behaviour. We’ve been doing it for more than a decade, we shouldn’t have to do, but more next month.

It’s also time to remind members that the best thing you can do for your workmates, because you never really know how councils will be constituted in a couple of months’ time, is to encourage them to join depa and get with the strength. Do your friends a favour and you can do yourself a favour as well.

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