The Local Government and Shires Association and the Department of Planning have signed a new consultation protocol agreement at the Local Government Conference in Tamworth.
The Protocol is a significant step towards the strengthening of the relationship between the two authorities.
President of the Local Government Association Genia McCaffery said that it committed local government and the department to closer consultation over issues that impact on each other.
"With the signing of this agreement we see a formal understanding that the department will genuinely consult with local government on significant proposals and legislative changes," Cr McCaffery said.
"This is imperative if local government is to continue to represent the best interests of their communities.
President of the Shires Association Bruce Miller said that the protocol would improve local government’s ability and opportunity to make significant feedback to changes that would have an impact on the way councils operate and represent their communities.
"We congratulate the Department of Planning for agreeing to be a part of this landmark initiative," Cr Miller said.
The LGSA has been working steadily to improve the relationship between local and State Government within all departments, and sees the protocol as a positive step towards a sector-wide intergovernmental agreement, which would formalise the relationship between all state departments and the local government sector.
The Minister for Planning, Kristina Keneally MP, congratulated both LGSA presidents for their commitment to ensuring that the Protocol was realsed.