Matters of Integrity must be dealt with outside of Council and include consequences for breaches.
Who should deal with matters of integrity I am not sure. The Government is proposing some options.
No matter what or who it will come at a cost, just as we have now. It may not matter in the end, who.
It must however be an external body, and not handled in house.
What will matter is members who have committed a breach of integrity must be subject to swift investigation and include consequences for breaches.
We must avoid the lengthy process that occurs now. The consequences must be more than just being sanctioned as happens now.
Behavioural matters on the other hand are probably best dealt with in house.
The use of outside bodies to investigate and/or make recommendations needs to be questioned. I say that in as much as this potentially extends the time of investigation. Consequences, particularly for repeat offenders must be strengthened beyond the current practice of sanctioning.
It may be that a set of behavioural standard needs to be developed. I am not sure this can reasonably be achieved however. I question too, whether this is better achieved by each council rather than have another body establish it. The current Unley Council is working through, as we speak, a similar standard.
Greater Controls for the Mayor
The Government is right to consider this and seek yours and my input. It is a vexing question. Install powers like the Speaker has in the Government’s House of Assembly and Legislative Council.
The City of Unley has not, in my time, had behavioural issues warranting such action. It is hard to imagine therefore a need for such to be addressed in a new Local Government Act.
In my time as Deputy Mayor a couple of years back, I did hear from a few Mayors of the problems they faced in their chambers. Problems that, coupled with what we hear in the Media, lead me to believe implementing some Mayoral oversight may be appropriate.
It has the potential of course to be manipulated if the Mayor was one to take advantage of this power. Any change in legislation in his area needs to have inbuilt protections to guard therefore against misuse.