If people refuse to have working with children checks, then we don’t want those people on our councils.
If people refuse to have working with children checks, then we don’t want those people on our councils. File

Council upset over child checks

COUNCILLORS from the Northern Rivers are mortified that many NSW councils will not agree to make it mandatory for elected representatives to have working with children checks.

A motion to introduce the checks for councillors was put forward by Ballina Shire Council at the recent NSW Shires Association annual conference in Sydney.

But the motion was defeated.

It was the second time the motion had been lost - a similar motion was put by Ballina last year.

Ballina councillors Sharon Cadwallader and Jeff Johnson said they were appalled that others councillors would not support the move.

"One of the comments I heard was that it might deter people from running for council," Cr Cadwallader said.

"But if people refuse to have working with children checks, then we don't want those people on our councils.

"I think it is just beyond comprehension that this motion didn't get up.

"It's absurd."

Cr Johnson agreed that it was important for councillors to have working with children checks.

He said it was "the most debated motion on the agenda".

"I find it appalling that councillors don't want to have these checks done," he said.

Notes presented to the association from Ballina Shire Council explained that Ballina's child protection policy made it mandatory for councillors to undertake a working with children check as part of their induction.