Local Government Reform

FuturePerth 2013 State Election Guide
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“Perth’s 30 local governments are dishing up mediocre outcomes by default. Yes, we have a few shining lights, but the system must change.”

What did we ask?


Do you support the findings of the Metropolitan Local Government Review and will you implement its recommendations?

Do you support the notion of an expanded City of Perth?

Do you support compulsory local government amalgamations?

Why did we ask it?


Local Governments are the gatekeepers (pardon the pun) of development in this city.

The State has been more proactive of late and introduced Development Assessment Panels. Our Councils still play a vital role in the development of our city – preparing strategies, schemes and local planning policies.

Unfortunately Perth’s 30 local governments are dishing up a myriad of visions, a patchwork quilt of planning regulations, and a whole range of different hoops for developers to jump through. The result is reduced investment in our city and mediocre outcomes by default. Yes, we have a few shining lights, but the system must change.

The previous way of asking Councils to endorse their own abolishment clearly hasn’t worked – so that’s why FuturePerth believes some forced amalgamations will be necessary.

The latest local government review has recommended a reduction of local governments in Perth from 30 to 12 and a whole range of other improvements including increased councillor pay to attract quality candidates – check out the full findings here.

Additionally, as outlined in our Why Not? publication, the City of Perth needs to be expanded to ensure a seamless vision for our inner city, and the creation of a capital city local government with sufficient resources – see our thoughts here.


Image source:
Izennah Hogan

Responses


Liberal Response

No response.

FuturePerth comment:

The Liberal Party has not been entirely silent on this issue recently and initiated the review of local government in the metro area. The Premier has openly said he wants to reduce metropolitan local governments to at least 15 to 20.

We believe this wouldn’t go far enough and we need a firm commitment that a State Government-led approach is necessary.

The signs aren’t particularly clear, but it’s worth a bet local government will get a shake up under a re-elected Barnett Government. The question is to what extent.

Labor Response

“It would be premature for WA Labor to take a firm position on all 30 of the recommendations of the Metropolitan Local Government Review, given that public submissions are being taken on the final report until 5 April 2013 and the State Government will not take a definitive position until after that date.

WA Labor has made it clear that we do not support forced local government amalgamations and any amalgamations or expansions, including for the City of Perth, need to be done voluntarily and in full consultation with the local community.”

FuturePerth comment:

‘Voluntary’ amalgamation simply hasn’t worked before. We are disappointed that WA Labor has not developed a stance on this issue and we suspect that there would be little change under their leadership.

Does anyone see the City of Subiaco voting themselves out of existence for the benefit of the wider metropolitan region? Didn’t think so.

Greens Response

“The Greens WA have a policy position of support for the self-determination of local government. We do not support forced amalgamations for local government, but do respect the rights of local government to (re)negotiate their boundaries as economic, social and environment needs change.

To continue to meet current community obligations, and to continue to deliver the suite of services it provides into the future, The Greens (WA) believe that Local Government needs to be realistically resourced and re-empowered with respect to local planning, within the context of regional frameworks based on principles of sustainability. We are unable to comment on support for an expanded City of Perth at this time without being able to take this policy priority in the context of planning, future development aspirations, environmental or social impacts and the impact on neighbouring local governments. You can find our full policy on local government here: http://wa.greens.org.au/policies/local-government-0

FuturePerth comment:

Please see our response to Labor’s position.

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