In an Australian first, the new Victorian Local Government Act includes a clear definition of sexual harassment in the Councillor Code of Conduct and introduces the power to remove councillors for serious sexual harassment.
Minister for Local Government, Marlene Kairouz, said, “Mayors and councillors who behave badly will be gone for a year – the days of them acting with impunity are over.”
The Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA) has welcomed the changes.
National President, Councillor Coral Ross, said, “We hope other States will follow Victoria’s lead and include sexual harassment in their Local Government Acts.”
In a joint statement from ALGWA Victorian and National branches, Cr Coral Ross and Victorian Branch President, Councillor Michelle Kleinert, said, “We are very pleased that sexual harassment is included in the definition of gross misconduct and serious misconduct, and that the Councillor Conduct principals also include sexual harassment – this is a great step forward.”
In its detailed submission to the Act the ALGWA urged the Government to include changes to the internal disputes process in relation to council’s individual Codes of Conduct.
“We believe there must be an independent person to hear disputes between councillors and that any sanctions should not be decided by the council itself,” Cr Ross added. “This could be included in the guidelines which follow the new Act.”
The Act now allows for an individual councillor to make an application for a Conduct Panel hearing for misconduct or serious misconduct offences.
“This means a claim of sexual harassment can now be heard by a Conduct Panel,” said Cr Michelle Kleinert.
“We are very pleased that an individual councillor can make an application for a Conduct Panel.”
The new Act will also include automatic maternity and paternity leave and measures to seek gender equity and diversity.
City of Adelaide Councillor, Sue Clearihan, was appointed as the new Local Government Association of South Australia (LGASA) President at a special meeting of the Board yesterday.
Cr Clearihan was appointed following the resignation of City of Onkaparinga Mayor, Lorraine Rosenberg, from the office of LGASA President on 7 June, and will remain in the position until October 2018 when a new Board and President will be elected.
Cr Clearihan said her focus for the next four months would be working with the LGA Board, member councils and State Government on local government reform.
“The LGA has worked with councils to develop a broad-range of reforms for the sector, that will improve efficiency and transparency within local government.
“Some of these reforms include implementing benchmarking for councils, strengthening the code of conduct, standardising external council audits, and local government elections reform.
“Many of these changes require a partnership approach, and I’m keen to work with the new Government and Parliament on these opportunities, and build partnerships that will benefit our sector and communities.
“We’re just five months out from the 2018 council elections, and we also want to make sure we get a bigger and more diverse field of candidates this year, and improve voter turnout.”
Town of Gawler Mayor, Karen Redman, was appointed by the Board to fill the vacancy in the position of Vice President that was created by the appointment of Cr Clearihan to the role of President.
Cr Clearihan said restoring confidence in the local government sector and the LGASA itself was a priority.
Volunteer fire fighting resources within Western Australia’s Great Southern Region were stretched beyond capacity at 6.30pm on 24 May 2018. City of Albany alone had crews responding to 27 bush fires across the district. Read more >
The community opening day for the City of Armadale, Western Australia’s, first off leash dog exercise area, at John Dunn Memorial Park in Kelmscott, was a howling success. Read more >
Antelco a world leading Australian manufacturer of micro irrigation products has launched the ReuZitTM range of products specifically for the domestic and small commercial waste water and non-potable rain water market.
Antelco identified that there were specific requirements relating to these waste water systems that were not being met by using standard irrigation products.
The main requirements with these waste water products were that:
They operate at low pressures, 50 kPa is common.
Spray systems must have low or flat trajectories.
Aerosol droplet size shall be as large as possible to avoid misting.
Visual operation of systems is preferable.
Waste water emitting device orifice sizes shall be large to resist clogging.
Waste water emitting device colour shall be purple (lilac) making them easily identifiable as do not drink.
Waste water emitting devices shall be easy to install.
To answer these issues Antelco developed the ReuZitTM micro range of recycled water products which includes:
ReuZitTM Bubbler – a localised bubbler which throws a diameter of 0.8m at 97 L/h, ideal for localised tree and shrub watering.
ReuZitTM Spray – a spray which throws a diameter of 1.7m at 195 L/h, ideal for ground covers.
ReuZitTM Sprinkler – a mini sprinkler which throws a diameter of 3.4m at 380 L/h, ideal for generalised watering of native garden beds.
The ReuZitTM range is available at your local Antelco distributor, or contact us at Ph – (08) 8532 3388. Email – murraybridge[@]antelco.com.au for your enquiries.
Further information can be found on our website antelco.com
*Copy supplied by Antelco