New rules for councils
GIFTS, behaviour, training and access to information have all been targeted as the State Government rolls out the first phase of changes to the Local Government Act.
In what is the first major review of the Local Government Act in two decades, the changes aim to modernise the Act, reduce red tape and create the efficient and effective councils residents expect.
Drafting of an amendment Bill has begun. Local Government Minister David Templeman said it was “an important step forward”.
“We have listened to the community and we know that their expectations of local governments have changed and the legislative framework under which they operate needs to reflect this,” he said.
“These reforms will build council member capacity, strengthen governance, improve efficiency and provide greater flexibility for local governments in determining the best ways to communicate with their communities.”
City of Armadale chief executive Ray Tame said the City supported changes to gifts, standards of behaviour and improved access to information, but said mandatory training was unnecessary.
“The City has always encouraged training for its councillors; however, it does not support mandatory training,” he said.
“The role of councillor is difficult enough in the modern era. We have to make it simpler, not so complex that no member of the public will seek office.”
City of Gosnells chief executive Ian Cowie said the City welcomed the review, which was “well overdue”.
“The City is optimistic that the review will lead to reforms that modernise local government and remove legislative provisions that lead to inefficiencies and unnecessary costs,” he said.
“The City is currently assessing how closely the legislative provisions match the City’s positions on the consultation document.
“The intent behind a number of the key changes is supported.”