Dual Roles: Councillors as Members of Parliament

Dual Roles: Councillors as Members of Parliament

Dual Roles: Councillors as Members of Parliament

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by BourkeStreet

The NSW Government has released a “Dual Roles: Councillors as Members of Parliament in NSW Discussion Paper”.

It’s open for submissions with closing date of 31 January 2012,

email to: dlg@dlg.nsw.gov.au

The Question:

Should mayors and Councillors who are also Members of Parliament be eligible to stand for local government elections?

The Answer:

*when voters complain about narrowing our local roads to the local MP they get a reply from the Councillor’s Office. We have lost our democratic right of appeal to our local member as they are also Councillor.

*it’s a conflict of interested & not democratic to have local MP also on the local Council

*when they are MP & on Council voters are not sure who to complain to.

*The local MP’s role is a full time job. It’s not practical for MP’s to do two jobs.

*Being Mayor is a full time job. Not a part-time job *Because a person has two jobs on Council & MP; there are other people who could be better MP as they can give their full time to the tasks in NSW Parliament

*It reduces local advocacy because voters can’t complain to their local MP on council issues as they are also on Council

*It’s inefficient as one person can’t be in two places at the same time. If there is a meeting of Parliament and meeting of Council what takes priority?

*Members of Parliament on their level of salary should have one job.

*Being on Council & MP has a significant impact reducing representative democracy in the electorate. Voters have no one to complain to about Council.

*The workload of being MP & on Council is not comparable to that of a Minister because they are conflicting roles. Local Council issues are different from State issues. The voters are not been well served by persons being MP & Councillors.

* It's not acceptable for a politician to pledge a full-time commitment to one job, mayor, and to make the same commitment to being an MP.

*Most other states don’t allow this double dipping, nor should NSW

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I agree that it is double dipping and a potential conflict of interest but I wonder if that is the O'Farrell Government's real motive or is it something else.

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