Unchecked ‘discretionary spending’ exposes Victorian councils to fraud risks

By Paul Hemsley Federal parliamentarians might be hogging the limelight on dubious expenses claims, but the Victorian state government is hard on the trail of highly questionable purchases by councillors elected to local government positions. A report handed down by Victoria’s municipal watchdog, the Local Government Investigations and Compliance Inspectorate, has found that 32 out […]

Forced amalgamations cop another caning

By Julian Bajkowski Powerful property development industry group Urban Taskforce Australia has thrown down the gauntlet to New South Wales  Premier Barry O’Farrell over  local government reforms, saying that Sydney’s 43 existing councils need to be boiled down to just six “regional groupings with Councils of Mayors and Shared Service Centres.” The property lobby is […]

Developer group wants councils as members

By Julian Bajkowski Property development industry group Urban Taskforce has taken the highly controversial step of throwing open its doors to allow local governments to formally become “associate members” of the lobbying outfit as it seeks to redefine its engagement with policymakers. The move comes as the New South Wales government scopes-out a root-and-branch overhaul […]

Council transparency under fire from Vic Auditor

By Julian Bajkowski Victoria’s Auditor General has criticised the state’s 79 councils over a glaring lack of clarity and detail in the way they determine and reveal how more than $4 billion in rates and charges a year are levied on constituents, despite the local governments having a “common rating framework.”  In a report issued […]

QLD councils hawkish on planning laws

By Paul Hemsley Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) chief executive officer Greg Hallam has warned the state government that councils will be keeping a close eye on recent reforms to local government planning to ensure that sure communities are not unfairly slugged with development costs. Mr Hallam’s statement follows the passage of the Newman […]

Queensland cuts councils loose

By Paul Hemsley Local Government Association of Queensland President Margaret de Wit has welcomed the state government’s move to put councils back in charge of community planning by getting rid of a raft of state bureaucratic requirements. The Queensland government this week passed changes to the Local Government Act and Brisbane City Council Act it […]

Leichhardt pecuniary interest lost

By Julian Bajkowski Inner Sydney’s Leichhardt Council has lost a key bid to secure backing from other New South Wales councils to try and overturn a state legislative amendments it claims will let councillors vote on planning and development decisions in which they hold a direct financial interest. According to a record of decisions released […]

LGAQ issues resource kits for councils

The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) has prepared a number of resources, tools and training options to assist councils with community obligations required under the new Local Government Act. LGAQ CEO, Greg Hallam, said the effect of the new act and its accompanying regulations would be to bring councils closer to their communities. "The […]


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