Local Government Act Review
The history to date taken from the Department website outlines that ‘In 2017 the McGowan Government announced a review of the Local Government Act 1995. This is the first significant reform of local government conducted in more than two decades. The objective is for Western Australia to have a new, modern Act that empowers local governments to better deliver for the community. The vision is for local governments to be “agile, smart and inclusive”.’
Phase one of this process began in November 2017 and finished consultation in March 2018. Summarily, this phase covered the following areas:
- Administrative Efficiencies: reviewing such things as special majorities, designating senior employees and authorised person and evidence provisions;
- CEO Recruitment and Performance: considering third party assistance and independent performance reviews;
- Gifts and declarations: to enhance transparency in reporting and declaring gifts and interests;
- Public notice provisions: making allowances for new technologies and multiple information mediums to inform and engage the public;
- Standards of Behaviour; Defining the role of the standards panel, enforcing and requiring mediation and the possible requirement for Council members to reimburse costs for adverse findings; and,
- Universal Training; The direction for a universal candidate induction for prospective councillors and a mandatory training package for elected members along with a professional development policy requirement.
An amendment bill relating to phase one is underway, and the creation of a new Local Government Act is the subject of phase two. The State government is seeking submissions from Local Governments on the phase two Act review to assist them in drafting legislation.
The Western Australian Local Government Association and the Local Government Professionals Association have been working with the Department to guide the process and in doing so have established positions to be reviewed and adopted by their respective members.
Based on the aforementioned positions, and expanded upon to include those experienced by Town staff and elected members, the below position paper summarises the position of the Town with rationale and outlines the general implications to Mosman Park.
The position paper has been presented in a structure that references where the positions can be found in the current legislation. As the Town has no direct control over how the legislation will be drafted, the positions and rationale presented in the position paper are general positions of intent with examples of how a new version of the Act could be improved from a practical perspective. Therefore, this is not intended to be comprehensive or to be included verbatim.
Town of Mosman Park Position Paper - Local Government Act Review