The video below is a recording of the Webinar that ran on Thursday, 20 June 2019.

It focused on the role of Councillors prescribed in s.2.10 of the Act is a two way obligation requiring Elected Members to:

  • communicate the community’s views to the Council throughout the decision making process; and importantly to also
  • communicate to the community the roles and legislative obligations of the Council, the Local Government and Elected Members relevant to each decision that the Local Government is required to make.

Clearly understanding the role of an Elected Member and the obligations of the Local Government are primary considerations before engaging in communications with the community.

Video Recording

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Video Download

To download the webinar video for offline playback click here

Presentation Download

To download the PowerPoint presentation from this webinar please click here.

Question and Answer Session

The following are a range of questions asked during and after the Communications and Social Media webinar:

Question 1
There have been a number of adverse findings in the West Australian against Councillors posted by the Standards Commission. What implications are there to the Councillor named?

The Local Government Standards Panel considers allegations made to it in relation to Elected Members under the Local Government (Rules of Conduct) Regulations. In the event of a finding that a breach of the Rules has occurred, the Panel can order that an Elected Member be publicly censured, an Elected Member make an apology and/or an Elected Member undertake training. 

Question 1
What is WALGA's views on Councillors who use fake profiles to communicate? 

Elected Members should not communicate on Local Government matters anonymously. Upon election to Council, an Elected Member makes a declaration to fulfil their duties '… faithfully, honestly and with integrity…'. and it is a breach of this contract with the community not to disclose their identity in communications. Similarly, Local Government Codes of Conduct commonly refer to the requirement to act in good faith and with honesty and integrity in all their dealings whislst holding office. In addition to these moral and ethical dimensions, it is a statutory role of a Councillor to facilitate communication between the community and the council (Section 2.10(c) of the Local Government Act) and Elected Members are always accountable to the provisions contained in the Local Government Act relating to their behaviour. The laws of the land also provide for consequences such as defamation action, therefore Elected Members should not presume anonymity in communications guarantees a lack of consequence for the things that are said or written under a fake profile.    .