UWA led research reveals unprecedented levels of work-related stress amongst WA Local Government CEOs

In 2018, LG Professionals WA commissioned the University of Western Australia to conduct a research project around the factors affecting the health and well-being of local government CEOs in WA and the impact on service delivery to communities.

The resulting, ground-breaking research report reveals that local government CEOs across Western Australia are suffering from psycho-social distress at nearly three times the national average of the general population. Their high levels of work-related stress exceed those found in traditionally 'dangerous' professionals like mining, construction and emergency services.

The report identified several contributory factors from a mismatch between job demands and job resources to a legal health and safety loophole and inefficient procedures for handling public complaints. The effects of these were found to be not only detrimental to emotional health but also physical health and the health of family members.

The report also highlights nine key recommendations and whilst we are pleased to see some of these have already been implemented, LG Professionals WA remains very concerned about the well-being of our members and we will endeavour to continue working with the State Government to improve the system of Local Government in WA.

The full report "From workplace stress to workplace wellness: An assessment of  the health and well-being of local government Chief Executive Officers in WA" can be read by clicking below:

Read the full report

Identified recommendations:

  • Mandatory training and development for Elected Members
  • Involvement of professional consultants in council decision-making
  • Increase opportunities for training and development of CEOs
  • Urgently afford CEOs the health and safety protections they deserve
  • Urgently reform the complaints procedure for ratepayers
  • Cut red tape
  • Interventions to improve Elected Member - CEO collaboration
  • Enhance CEO connectedness
  • Increase resources to enable implementation of the above recommendations