Thursday 25 September, 2014

Mr TARZIA (Hartley) (16:57): I rise to also support the bill and the amendments in question. I would like to commence by firstly acknowledging, as the member for Goyder has done, the good work that local government and local councils especially do in the community. They do a fantastic job in my area. I have three councils in Hartley: the City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters (which is my old council), as well as the Burnside council and the Campbelltown council.

It is notable that many members in this place have learnt their craft in local government. I look to my right at the esteemed member for Bright, a former deputy mayor of a local council. We have the member for Light, the member for Frome, the member for Giles and the member for Goyder, who was obviously very heavily involved as well. It goes without saying that many in this place have acquired knowledge that is particular to their council, which I am sure has been taken into account when considering this bill.

As we have heard, it seeks to amend section 60 and section 80A of the Local Government Act. I am happy to support it. As far as I am concerned, I believe that where we can we need to take councils with us and listen to local government when instigating the changes they want. I am happy to support it, especially considering the comments of Wendy Campana, the LGA chief executive.

When I first looked at the amendments, I thought back to my time in local government. I note that here we are asking for mandatory codes of conduct to be inserted and certain aspects of mandatory training. I will support these amendments, but one thing I will say is that I would like to give credit to the councils and the good work that they do already. In my time as an elected member, the local council had optional training sessions and ran workshops during the week, and I am sure that that also happened across the board. First, I point out that an element of this training is occurring; however, I think that this will better crystallise what is happening out there.

Apart from that, there are also some exceptional law firms in South Australia that I, along with members of staff and councillors on the council I was part of, found whenever we needed some advice on a particular matter were also quite good and very professional and were happy to provide any advice, but any amendment which furthers that and which sets that in concrete, I will certainly support. If local government is asking for the support, then we should certainly give it that support.

Currently, as we have heard, the LGA offer training and education courses for elected members. I note that on one of their websites there were actually 22 courses on offer, ranging in cost, and it has been said that 2,000 elected members and local government employees have actually undertaken training with the LGA's Education and Training Service in the last 14 months. What does that tell us? It tells us that this is an important issue. It tells us that people are certainly looking at education and becoming more skilled and schooled in this area. Obviously the LGA has submitted that we consider this as a matter of urgency. I am happy to do that. I look forward to working with other aspects and elements of government down the track, and I commend the bill to the house.