Shoalhaven City Council is calling on residents to have their say regarding Councillors serving terms concurrently as Members of Parliament.
With an increasing number of serving Councillors having won seats in the NSW State Government elections, Minister for Local Government, Don Page has released a discussion paper aimed at eliciting community feedback on the issue.
The paper follows reported unease from sections of the community who have expressed concerns about the ability of serving Councillors to perform the dual roles.
Some of the concerns outlined in the report include the blurring of responsibilities, a potential conflict of duties and a lack of equability.
With both Mayor, Paul Green (Member of the Upper House) and Councillor Gareth Ward (Member for Kiama) currently serving dual roles, Council General Manager, Russ Pigg said he was very interested to hear the views of the community on this very important issue.
“There has been a lot of comment in the media about the ability of serving Councillors to also uphold a position within the NSW Government,” said Mr Pigg.
“I’ll be assessing the dual roles and whether there is any real impact on our operations before reporting to Council in December.
“It is important for the community to consider whether they have experienced any difficulties or indeed gained benefits from this experience with both the Mayor and Councillor Ward having dual roles since March.”
“Given this issue has current local ramifications, Council is encouraging residents to view the DLG’s discussion paper, follow the link and make comment on Council’s Facebook page.”
“I would be very interested to hear the views of the community on this ongoing issue.”
The Department of Local Government’s discussion paper can be found at www.dlg.nsw.gov.au
Residents wishing to make comment can do so by following the link to Council’s Facebook page at www.shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au.