Join forces or be picked off says Kennett

By Adam Coleman

Former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett told delegates at the 2007 Local Government Managers Australia (LGMA) National Congress in Hobart today that local councils will need work together as a sector of government or risk becoming redundant.

“As a tier of government you need to band together or as individual councils you will be picked off,” he said.

He said local government are increasingly “post offices for the Federal Government” and need to ask themselves, “where will Local Government be in 2050?”

Local Government needs to deliver a consistent and unified governance message to the public, he said.

On the issue of leadership, Mr Kennett said ‘power’ was an ugly word and was not a term he would use to best effect generational change.

He told local government leaders from around the country about the importance of using their “influence” instead of power to facilitate change.

“It is how one uses the influence that comes with character, position, ability and effort that leads to the most positive outcomes,” Mr Kennett said.

“The leadership qualities that effect change are not new, but again it is how an individual uses those qualities that determines the extent and quality of the outcomes they are aiming the achieve.”

Mr Kennet also said he believed the structure of local government will look very different next year in light of the changes currently occurring in Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory and that locaal government had to be prepared to embrace change.


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