The Australian Conservatives believe ratepayers deserve better than councils using their money to buy flowers, watches or a number of other peripheral items.
The information uncovered by Freedom of Information and revealed by Today Tonight is concerning and there is the potential that the issue could affect more than the council named in the Channel 7 report.
The Australian Conservatives are supportive of the role of local councils but we see a mixed message in which, on one side, councils are lobbying hard against rate capping and want the parliament to legislate them into the constitution but on the other hand people are expressing their growing concerns about ever-rising rates, little money spent on infrastructure and now about where ratepayer money is actually spent.
The State Government must provide better scrutiny of spending to ensure council transparency and accountability.
This should fall to the Minister in charge of that area but unfortunately there has been a weakening of the Minister’s role in relation to local government.
The Australian Conservatives are calling for this role to be strengthened again in the next parliament - what use is the role if the Minister does not have the power to keep local councils in line?
Watch the Today Tonight story below: