Absence questioned

Absence questioned


The absence of City of Gosnells councillor Julie Jones was brought up in council earlier this month as she currently resides and works in the eastern states.

Ms Jones moved to Melbourne in November 2019, but plans to return to Gosnells, according to chief executive Ian Cowie.

Local resident Sandy Baraiolo said she did not support the decision and said it was unfair for ratepayers to pay sitting fees for a representative of the city who is not even in the state.

“Sometimes we must make decisions for the betterment of the municipality and councillor Julie Jones has resided and worked outside of WA since November by choice,” she said.

“Do you think this councillor is acting as a leader, do you think it is morally and ethically correct that this councillor is paid her sitting fee of $35,000 a year to be a representative to the ratepayers?

“When she is clearly unable and is not performing her civic duty as written in the act.”

Chief executive Ian Cowie confirmed no change had been made to the allowance paid to councillor Jones.

“Councillors are required to attend council meetings and to facilitate communication between council and the community,” he said.

“Councillor Jones is currently attending council meetings and workshops electronically, and can be contacted by residents by telephone, email and social media.

“Councillors are expected to attend council meetings wherever possible, however under the Local Government Act, councillors can be absent due to unforeseen circumstances or where council has granted leave.

“There is no legislative requirement for councillors to attend events.”