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The Hydra Beast of Western Australian Local Government and the misconduct risks faced

Howe, S.W. (2012) The Hydra Beast of Western Australian Local Government and the misconduct risks faced. Local Government Law Journal, 17 . pp. 80-90.


Currently Western Australia has over 140 local government bodies, each headed by a Chief Executive Officer, staffed by multiple public officers and comprised of a number of elected councillors. These local governments are regulated by complex legislation and are overseen by the Department of Local Government who reports to the relevant Parliamentary Minister. Further to this, the relevant legislation creates a Local Government Standards Panel who can receive complaints about elected councillors and also allows for the State Administrative Tribunal to hear and determine some complaints against elected councillors. Local government in Western Australia is analogist to the multiheaded Hydra beast of Greek mythology; being that there are multiple participants within local government, each with their own capacity to make decisions which affect a wide array of stakeholders. It is against this backdrop that oversight bodies – such as Western Australia’s anti-corruption agency, the Corruption and Crime Commission – must attempt to monitor corruption issues within local government. This article will argue that the multiple heads of local government within Western Australia hinders the monitoring of local government corruption issues. It will also argue that these multiple heads have the potential to foster corruption practices within local government. Suggestions to overcome these issues will be made.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Law
Publisher: Thomson Reuters
Copyright: Thomson Reuters
Publishers Website:
Notes: Local Government Law Journal (LGLJ) (2012) 17 LGLJ 80 Sarah Withnall Howe
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