WA councils face ‘reform fatigue’

By Angela Dorizas Western Australian councils have called for a state-wide governance review to revitalise the local government reform process. The WA Local Government Association (WALGA) today called on the State Government to reassess the current situation and redefine the reform agenda. WALGA president Troy Pickard said many councils and shires were feeling “reform fatigue” […]

OPINION: A new amalgamation agenda

By Graham Sansom A visit to Western Australia recently brought the issue of council amalgamations back into sharp focus. This persistent theme in Australian local government just won’t go away, even though the average population of council areas is high by world standards. Arguments continue between those who promote larger (in population) local government areas […]

Sydney councils must amalgamate to survive population boom

By Angela Dorizas Councils in the Sydney basin must amalgamate and a new super agency must replace the Department of Local Government and the Department of Planning, if Sydney is to cope with a population of 10 million by 2050. That is the advice of the Association of Consulting Engineers Australia (ACEA) in its Sydney Towards Tomorrow report released on […]

WA shires agree to amalgamate

By Staff Writer Four shires in Western Australia have responded to the State Government’s call for voluntary amalgamations by agreeing to form one new local government. In February, Local Government Minister John Castrilli asked the state’s 139 councils to voluntarily amalgamate and to reduce the total number of elected members of each council to between […]

Staff funding forces redundancy rethink

By Rachel Borchardt   Amalgamated councils struggling with climbing staff costs will have their chance at Queensland’s major local government conference this week to discuss bringing forward redundancies to cope with the financial strain. Changes to the Local Government Act have banned forced redundancies linked to amalgamations until March 2011, following the widescale council mergers […]

Barnett signals ‘significant’ reform of local government

By Rob O’Brien   The number of councils in Western Australia will have to be significantly reduced if real reform of local government is to work, the state’s premier has said.   Speaking to local government members at the WA Local Government Association’s Annual General Meeting in Perth on Friday, Premier Colin Barnett said he […]

Bigger councils hit waste paydirt

By Penny Langfield in Brisbane Last year’s local government amalgamations in Queensland, while controversial, have proven positive in at least in one respect: some of the new, larger councils are delivering more professional and effective waste management services. That has been the experience at Mackay Regional Council, according to John Hogg, director of Mackay Waste […]

Checklists in, but no answer on amalgamations

By Angela Dorizas West Australian councils are a step closer to local government reform after lodging their checklists with the State Government. Councils were required to submit a checklist to the Department of Local Government providing information on their strategic, business and financial management plan, along with capital reserves, income streams and debt levels. Minister […]

Sunshine Coast backs state reforms

By Rachel Borchardt Changes to Queensland’s Local Government Act are long overdue and will make councils more transparent, according to Sunshine Coast Regional Council mayor Bob Abbot. He said the new legislation, requiring councils to implement long-term infrastructure, asset and financial management plans covering a period of at least 10 years, would ensure local governments were […]

QLD amalgamations: the next stage of reform

By Angela Dorizas in Cairns The Queensland Government’s controversial reform of local government, including council amalgamations across the state, was high on the agenda at the annual conference of the Local Government Association of Queensland, held in Cairns this week. The 112th annual conference of the LGAQ is the first since the Queensland Government introduced […]

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