The Local Government Standards Panel was established in 2007 to fulfil two key objectives:
The standards panel has the authority to make binding decisions to resolve allegations of minor misconduct submitted by a local government. It deals with complaints about council members who it is alleged have committed a breach of one or more of the provisions of the Rules of Conduct Regulations. The panel is independent of the Minister for Local Government and the department.
The standards panel also has the jurisdiction to deal with misconduct allegations that relate to conduct at meetings under the provisions of a local government's Standing Orders Local Law. The standards panel has no jurisdiction to deal with complaints made against local government employees.
The standards panel does not have investigative powers; findings and decisions of the panel are made on the basis of the information it receives. Proceedings are normally held in private (i.e. usually parties to a complaint and members of the public are not in attendance). However, the panel may, if it considers the circumstances warrant, hear evidence and conduct its deliberations in the presence of the parties concerned.
If the standards panel finds that a breach has occurred, it may deal with the complaint by dismissing it or ordering that the council member:
The standards panel may issue an order that imposes two or more of these sanctions.
The standards panel ensures that procedural fairness is accorded to any elected member who is the subject of a complaint.
The standards panel comprises three members:
The current panel members are:
Sheryl Siekierka, Director Strategic Initiatives, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries
Sheryl Siekierka, BA, PG Dip Ed, GD Bus (Acctg), MBA, is Director of Local Government Strategic Initiatives at the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries. Sheryl has an extensive policy and legislative background having led projects in such diverse areas as business e-commerce, telecommunications, local government reform, heritage and dog and cat management. She has worked on local government policy and legislation since 2008 and is currently leading the team responsible for the review of the Local Government Act 1995.
Paul Kelly, councillor, Town of Claremont
Councillor Paul Kelly has extensive local government experience. He has been councillor for the Town of Claremont since 1995 and deputy mayor for more than 10 years. He was deputy president of the Western Australian Local Government Association and a State councillor of the organisation for 11 years. He is a director on a number of boards, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and works as executive director of a regulatory authority.
Emma Power, Principal, Power Commercial Legal
Emma Power graduated with a law degree from Murdoch University in 2004 and has been working predominately in property, development, corporate and commercial law since that time. Prior to studying law Mrs Power was a secondary school teacher teaching visual arts. In 2017 Mrs Power became the principal of the private law practice Power Commercial Law. In 2017 Mrs Power was appointed to the Liquor Commission and in 2018 she became a member of the Racing Penalties Appeals Tribunal.
The department provides administrative, case management and legal research assistance to the standards panel.
For enquiries related to the Local Government Standards Panel, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Local Government Complaints Officers can also submit complaints via this email address.
View minor breach findings.