Local Government Act: Law Reform or Decline?

22 January 2022: LGEMA will hold a workshop on LG Minister’s proposed amendments the Local Government Act, details and venue TBA.

The Constitution Act 1889 (WA) Part 111B s.52(1) gives all  local government powers including but not limited to executive, legislative and administrative to the local governing body. The elected governing body is a group of elected persons that have the authority to govern the locality. Constitutionally, local government powers cannot be given to other than to or through the elected governing body. Governance encompasses the system by which an organisation is controlled and operates, and the mechanisms by which it, and its people, are held to account. Ethics, risk management, compliance and administration are governance elements.

Parliament implements these constitutional obligations by enacting a Local Government Act, which creates a local government, a Council and an administration none of which are required by the Constitution. Elected Members, who ARE the only local government constitutional requirements have no support or protection by the current Local Government Act, and no improvement in this parlous state of affairs is observed from the current reform proposals.

25 February 2022 5pm: Submissions due, but if you need an extension request one before the closing date
Submissions: Summary of proposed reforms are on DLGSC website, submissions can be made by comment on each list of specific proposals, or directly  actreview@dlgsc.wa.gov.au

Councils: Prudent Councils will workshop the proposed amendments with an expert of their choice, and not necessarily adopt employee recommendations

Elected Members: Can make their own submissions as an EM, as long as they make clear they are making on their own behalf

Employee Submissions: Employee interests in LG Act amendments are often opposite to EM and community interests. Prudent EMs will monitor and Councils will prohibit CEO and electors will ask public questions at meetings about employee submissions being made on behalf of their Local  Government without Council knowledge or endorsement.

More than one submission: Any person, EM or Council can make more than one submission, so start making small ones now, so a mammoth task does not hover in the future