CMI addresses WA council conference

The Chief Municipal Inspector Michael Stefanovic AM spoke to the local government sector in Western Australia earlier this month.

The Local Government Professionals WA annual conference was held in Perth on 2–3 November. It was attended by about 300 people, including chief executive officers and senior executives from WA councils.

Local Government Professionals Australia WA is the peak representative body for local government professionals in WA.

The WA Government announced the most significant change to the Local Government Act in more than 25 years in July this year. The changes include the creation of a new Inspector of Local Government, which would be supported by an Inspectorate.

The model is similar to the Victorian model which is why we were invited to speak to the annual conference.

Earlier this year, Minister for Local Government John Carey visited our office to seek information about our powers and operations.

Local Government Professionals WA Chief Executive Officer Candy Choo said she invited the Inspectorate to speak at the conference as it was opportunity for the Western Australian local government sector to hear how the Inspectorate operates in Victoria as they prepare for their own Inspectorate.

Mr Stefanovic said: “Western Australia will be setting up a model to oversight councils similar to the Victorian system. It was useful for WA’s local government sector to get an understanding of how our integrity system works as an example of that they can soon expect.

“We are happy to share our knowledge and expertise in compliance with local government legislation and best-practice governance.”

Mr Stefanovic was joined by Team Leader, Investigations, David Walker at the presentation.

The pair were asked questions about our ability to issue infringement notices, conflict of interest, the investigation process and the length of our investigations.

The WA conference was also an opportunity for local government officers to reconnect with peers and networks, be exposed to new ideas, and celebrate achievements within their sector.

Anti-corruption conference

The Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2022 was held in Sydney in late November. The conference attracts 500 delegates keen to learn the latest trends, resource and practices in preventing, exposing and responding to corrupt conduct in all levels of government.

Mr Stefanovic and Inspector of Municipal Administration, Ulrike Friedrich, attended the conference on behalf of the Inspectorate.

Presentations to councils

The Inspectorate presented to councillors and some council staff at Portland Shire Council and Wyndham City Council this quarter. Our presentations are tailored to give case studies and information on issues each council is encountering.