Editorial

The Queensland Local Government elections are taking place next weekend, the Victorian elections are being held in November, meanwhile the New South Wales elections, that were scheduled for September this year now look like being moved by the Baird Government to early next year due to the proposed mergers in that State.

This prompts me to consider the state of our political leaders - how we vote for them and whether we actually receive what we are voting for.

There has been turmoil within the Australian Federal Government with the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd merry-go-round and now there is speculation that there might be a similar Abbott/Turnbull/Abbott scenario, which must leave many of the Australian public (and international observers also) scratching their heads.

But how does this equate to Local Government; do we see the same revolving door pattern with our mayors and councillors? The answer to that is no.  

The standard of our candidates sometimes comes under scrutiny and at times the Local Government Minister/s will act to stand down a council; but today this is not a common occurrence.

Councillors and mayors are not only guided by Codes of Conduct, their local government state association and the respective state governments very closely monitor them.

There is seemingly a constant stream of reviews conducted of the Local Government Acts by their state government overseers, which is yet another guide to the behaviour and performance of councillors.

The policing and performance review for councils is way above that for State and Federal elected members. Not only does each Council have guidelines for their own councillors and their state organization has guidelines for them, the state government not only has another set of guidelines but also a Local Government Act and a Local Government Minister to oversee them all.

Then we have a federal Local Government Minister but we won’t go there.

One cannot help wondering how much scrutiny is too much.