Local governments in Western Australia could be permitted to create regional subsidies under a state government bill.
Introduced last week, the Local Government Amendment Bill intends to allow local governments to share in the delivery of services.
According to the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA), the legislation will allow local governments to focus more effort into delivering services and less into ‘bureaucratic processing’.
WALGA President, Mayor Troy Pickard said local governments will be able to concentrate on service delivery rather than meeting “over-burdening” requirements of the current Act.
“It is hoped it will remove the layers of bureaucracy and red tape that has very much paralysed local governments from more effectively and efficiently working together to deliver a range of services,” Mr Pickard said.
He said the flexibility that the amendment will deliver will strengthen local government service delivery and regional collaboration.
“However the compilation of the regulations will be crucial to the … operation of these bodies,” Mr Pickard said.
Mr Pickard argues that it is critical to get the content right for the regulations that will govern the establishment and administration of the regional subsidies.
“Local government has much to add to this process and their contribution will ensure an administratively robust and efficient entity,” he said.
WALGA anticipates that once the amendment is passed, neighbouring local councils will be able to create legal entities to share service delivery.
These bodies would work in critical areas including planning approval processes, road maintenance and construction and back office functions.
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