Information Circular

Review of the Local Government Act – Consultation with Members

August 2017

Process for Review of the Local Government Act 1995

The State Government has committed to a review of the Local Government Act 1995 and associated regulations.
LG Professionals WA has advocated for this review, and is pleased to see this important election commitment being fulfilled.

The State Government has chosen to undertake the Review in two phases.

Phase 1 will focus on:

  • Making information available online (electronic disclosure provisions);
  • Meeting public expectations for accountability (including gifts);
  • Improving behaviour and relationships (including rules of conduct, relationship between council and administration, recruitment and performance appraisal of CEOs and elected member training); and
  • Building capacity through reducing red tape (part one).

As a result of advocacy from your professional association, major issues for our membership such as behaviour and relationships, rules of conduct, elected member training and recruitment and performance appraisal of CEOs have been elevated to Phase 1 by the Minister.  They were originally planned for Phase 2.

The Department advises that it is unlikely to be able to release a Consultation Paper on Phase 1 until November this year.  Once complete, the consultation paper will be released for comment for a period of 3 months to all local governments, associations and members of the public.

Phase 2 will look at:

  • Increasing participation in local government elections;
  • Strengthening public confidence in local government elections;
  • Increasing community participation in local government decision-making;
  • Introducing an adaptive regulatory framework (including multi-tiered compliance and risk-based monitoring);
  • Improving financial management (including local government enterprises and rates exemptions); and
  • Building capacity through reducing red tape (part two).

Legislation & Regulations under Review

•    Local Government Act 1995

The Act review, also incorporates all associated regulations, as many changes to the Local Government Act will also require changes in the regulations.  All legislation and regulations can be viewed on the State Law Publisher website – www.slp.wa.gov.au

The relevant documents are:

  • Local Government (Administration) Regulations 1996
  • Local Government (Audit) Regulations 1996
  • Local Government (Constitution) Regulations 1998
  • Local Government (Elections) Regulations 1997
  • Local Government (Employee Superannuation) 2016
  • Local Government (Financial Management) Regulations 1996
  • Local Government (Long Service Leave) Regulations
  • Local Government (Parking for People with Disabilities) Regulations 2014
  • Local Government (Regional Subsidiaries) Regulations 2017
  • Local Government (Rules of Conduct) Regulations 2007
  • Local Government (Uniform Local Provisions) Regulations 1996

The Local Government Act 1995 Review Reference Group

To support the review of the Act, the Department has convened a Reference Group which includes representatives from WALGA and LG Professionals WA.

LG Professionals WA – Consultation with our Members (One Process)

The Department is currently developing a consultation paper for release.  The first consultation paper will only cover Phase 1.   It will be released to all local governments, associations and members of the public.

Although the State Government has chosen to undertake the review in two phases, LG Professionals WA will only undertake one process.  This means that we are seeking our Members’ views on any suggested changes to the entire Local Government Act and Associated Regulations.

LG Professionals WA will make a comprehensive submission to the State Government on behalf of its Members.

In order for our Members to have as much time as possible to provide their views, our Association has decided not to wait for the Consultation Paper to be released but to start talking to our Members about their views immediately.

Over the next few months:

  • We will run workshops at all our upcoming branch meetings to discuss potential changes.
  • We will also use our officer Networks to provide input and feedback into the review. 

Members are invited to provide their views and we want to hear from all of our Members.

LG Professionals WA will use its Policy Development and Legislation Committee (chaired by Ian Cowie, CEO of Gosnells and Deputy President of LG Professionals WA) to review all of the suggested changes / proposed amendments and work with the LG Professionals WA CEO to develop our submission.

Once we have prepared a draft submission, we will circulate it to all Members and give them a chance to comment on the Association’s submission, so Members can see how their input has been utilised.

Policy Positions of LG Professionals

LG Professionals WA has developed a number of policy positions for advocacy prior to the State election, included in our pre-election submission: Bigger Impact. Better Outcomes: Unleashing Capacity in WA Local Governments.

The Board has also adopted positions on a number of issues, including:

  • Rate-capping
  • Mandatory training for elected members
  • Gift provisions
  • Transparency and accountability.

You can find all of these policy positions on the LG Professionals WA website.

For further information
:
Warren Pearce, Chief Executive Officer on 9271 1136 / 0477 399 140 / warren@lgprofessionalswa.org.au

Note: Use the table in the Word dosument below to provide your feedback.

  Download or View a Word doc of the Information Circular here.