Advocacy in Action - Submission for Phase 2 of the Local Government Act Review

This month, the Committee held a combined meeting with our Reshaping and Reforming Working Groups to hear from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries on the reforms being proposed for Phase 2 of the Local Government Act Review. Generally, the Committee supports the focus of these reforms, which will provide a new Act to make local governments more agile, smart and inclusive in their operations to service the community.

In providing feedback on the proposed amendments, the Committee acknowledged the difficult task in providing an Act that caters to the diversity of local government across Western Australia. It is therefore an important consideration of the Act to ensure scalability in its application depending on a local government’s size and ability to carry out each of the functions delegated to it.

Key points to be raised in the Committees submission were workshopped with attendees at the briefing, and included the following:

  • Recommended that the review team consider each of the proposed reforms in terms of their capacity to be implemented through regulation rather than enshrined in legislation so that the regulatory environment can be responsive and agile too.
  • Recognition that the current form of local government needed to be reformed in order to develop a metropolitan governance framework. This will reduce local fragmentation and create a formal regional governance structure that facilitates regional integration and collaboration and enable the preparation and delivery of a collective, integrated regional vison and strategy for the future.
  • Provided general support for the introduction of beneficial enterprises, with some issues to be considered prior to implementation which includes competition, requirement for a community mandate, an independent board, the ability to enter into joint venture arrangements.
  • Support for consistency in local laws and the ability for local laws to be called in for review by either the State Government or a designated proportion of the community in order for these to remain contemporary.
  • Provided a summary of learnings from the Committee’s What We Thought Would Kill Us series to provide a best practice guide in the planning and delivery of major projects that will ultimately increase community engagement.
  • Suggested that the sector is encouraged to share best practice across local governments through regular events and communications to showcase best in breed solutions.

The Committee’s full submission contains significantly more detail than the points outlined above, and can be accessed here.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Committee For Perth acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.