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Local Government Act 1993 No 30
Current version for 1 November 2019 to date (accessed 18 November 2019 at 15:01)
The role of a councillor
The role of a councillor is as follows—to be an active and contributing member of the governing body,to make considered and well informed decisions as a member of the governing body,to participate in the development of the integrated planning and reporting framework,to represent the collective interests of residents, ratepayers and the local community,to facilitate communication between the local community and the governing body,to uphold and represent accurately the policies and decisions of the governing body,to make all reasonable efforts to acquire and maintain the skills necessary to perform the role of a councillor.A councillor is accountable to the local community for the performance of the council.
For what period is a councillor elected?
A councillor (other than the mayor) holds office for 4 years, subject to this Act.The office of councillor—commences on the day the person elected to the office is declared to be so elected, andbecomes vacant on the day appointed for the next ordinary election of councillors, or on the occurrence of a casual vacancy in the office.A person elected to fill a casual vacancy in the office of councillor holds the office for the balance of the predecessor’s term.
Oath and affirmation for councillors
A councillor must take an oath of office or make an affirmation of office at or before the first meeting of the council after the councillor is elected.The oath or affirmation may be taken or made before the general manager of the council, an Australian legal practitioner or a justice of the peace and is to be in the following form—OathI [name of councillor] swear that I will undertake the duties of the office of councillor in the best interests of the people of [name of council area] and the [name of council] and that I will faithfully and impartially carry out the functions, powers, authorities and discretions vested in me under the Local Government Act 1993 or any other Act to the best of my ability and judgment.AffirmationI [name of councillor] solemnly and sincerely declare and affirm that I will undertake the duties of the office of councillor in the best interests of the people of [name of council area] and the [name of council] and that I will faithfully and impartially carry out the functions, powers, authorities and discretions vested in me under the Local Government Act 1993 or any other Act to the best of my ability and judgment.A councillor who fails, without a reasonable excuse, to take the oath of office or make an affirmation of office in accordance with this section is not entitled to attend a meeting as a councillor (other than the first meeting of the council after the councillor is elected to the office or a meeting at which the councillor takes the oath or makes the affirmation) until the councillor has taken the oath or made the affirmation.Any absence of a councillor from an ordinary meeting of the council that the councillor is not entitled to attend because of this section is taken to be an absence without prior leave of the council.Failure to take an oath of office or make an affirmation of office does not affect the validity of anything done by a councillor in the exercise of the councillor’s functions.The general manager must ensure that a record is to be kept of the taking of an oath or the making of an affirmation (whether in the minutes of the council meeting or otherwise).
When does a vacancy occur in a civic office?
A civic office becomes vacant if the holder—dies, orresigns the office by writing addressed to the general manager, oris disqualified from holding civic office, oris absent from 3 consecutive ordinary meetings of the council (unless the holder is absent because he or she has been suspended from office under this Act or because the council has been suspended under this Act or as a consequence of a compliance order under section 438HA) without—prior leave of the council, orleave granted by the council at any of the meetings concerned, orbecomes bankrupt, applies to take the benefit of any law for the relief of bankrupt or insolvent debtors, compounds with his or her creditors or makes an assignment of his or her remuneration for their benefit, orbecomes a mentally incapacitated person, oris dismissed from civic office, orin the case of the office of a councillor, is elected as mayor by the electors, orceases to hold the office for any other reason.See section 275 for the circumstances in which a person is disqualified from holding civic office.For the purposes of subsection (1)(d), a councillor applying for a leave of absence from a meeting of a council does not need to make the application in person and the council may grant such leave in the absence of that councillor.If the holder of a civic office attends a council meeting (whether or not an ordinary meeting) despite having been granted leave of absence, the leave of absence is taken to have been rescinded as regards any future council meeting.Subsection (3) does not prevent the council from granting further leave of absence in respect of any future council meeting.The office of a mayor elected by councillors becomes vacant if the mayor ceases to hold office as a councillor.