Minister wants council squabbles cut
Tasmania’s Local Government Minister Peter Gutwein has stern words for warring councillors.
Gutwein spoke at the Local Government Association Tasmania (LGAT) annual conference this week, addressing the ongoing infighting in councils like Glenorchy City Council and the Huon Valley Council.
Mr Gutwein said councillors were seeking “short-term political outcomes” in publicly airing their disputes.
“There's also been fights in a number of other councils that have been publicly played out as well,” he said.
“It's fair to say this is driving a heightened sense of public interest, specifically the behaviour of councils and councillors for all of the wrong reasons.
“There is no doubt the entire sector risks being judged poorly by ratepayers as a result of the behaviour and governance ... being reported in some councils.”
On other matters, Gutwein welcomed reports that 24 councils across the state had backed feasibility studies into voluntary amalgamation and resource sharing.
The Minister also hinted that changes could be on the way to make it easier for developments to be deemed “projects of regional significance”.
The criteria are so strict that the alternative planning assessment has never been triggered.
Additionally, a motion to impose compulsory monthly disclosure of councillors' expenses was defeated.
A motion calling to make voting in local government elections mandatory by the Hobart City Council fell as well.
A motion that would have implemented live streaming of council meetings was lost as well.