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Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel 1 The Reform Process in Perth & WA: Learnings to date and future direction Christopher Berry, Project Director.

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Presentation on theme: "Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel 1 The Reform Process in Perth & WA: Learnings to date and future direction Christopher Berry, Project Director."— Presentation transcript:

1 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel 1 The Reform Process in Perth & WA: Learnings to date and future direction Christopher Berry, Project Director Metropolitan Local Government Review

2 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel Background 30 Metropolitan local governments, 6 Regional LGs State Government major player in metro governance Key infrastructure and services: Transport, Health, Education, Police Western Australian Planning Commission Many agencies active in space elsewhere occupied by local government, eg –Metropolitan Cemeteries Board, –Botanic Parks and Gardens Authority, –Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority, –Development Assessment Panels –Swan River Trust 2

3 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel Background WA only State where significant structural reform of local government has not occurred State Metropolitan Perth Context of significant population growth WA State population 2.35m, to grow to 3.1m by 2026 Metro Perth population 1.7m, to grow to 2.4m by 2026 Metro Perth population 3.5m by 2050

4 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel 4 Local Government Reform Objectives The Minister for Local Government, Hon John Castrilli MLA, announced the voluntary local government reform agenda in February The objective is to create fewer, stronger local governments with 1.Enhanced capacity for improved service delivery; 2.Improved ability to meet community expectations; 3.Capacity to plan, manage and fund infrastructure; 4.Capacity to negotiate strategic partnerships with State / Federal Capacity to provide more effective advocacy for communities. Local Governments requested by Minister to consider reform and submit reform proposals in 2009 …. Limited traction in sector

5 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel Local Government Reform in WA … 5

6 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel Capacity Building 6

7 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel 7 Diversity in the Western Australian local government sector

8 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel 8 Diversity in local government in Metropolitan Perth City of Perth population 18,000; Average pop. of a metro council 57,000 5 LGs less than 10,000; 6 greater than 100,000

9 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel 9 Perth is changing

10 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel 10 Independent Panel Appointed Minister announced appointment of independent Panel to review metropolitan local government in June 2011 Emeritus Professor Alan Robson AM CitWA (Chair) former Vice Chancellor of The University of Western Australia Emeritus Vice Chancellor Peter Tannock former Vice Chancellor of the University of Notre Dame Dr Sue van Leeuwen CEO of Leadership Western Australia Advisory Groups Director Generals –Department of Local Government – Jennifer Mathews –Department of Planning – Eric Lumsden WA Local Government Association –President (Mayor Troy Pickard) & Deputy President

11 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel 11 Panel Terms of Reference Identify current and anticipated specific regional, social, environmental and economic issues affecting, or likely to affect, the growth of metropolitan Perth in the next 50 years. Identify current and anticipated national and international factors likely to impact in the next 50 years. Research improved local government structures, and governance models and structures for the Perth metropolitan area, drawing on national and international experience and examining key issues relating to community representation, engagement, accountability and State imperatives among other things the Panel may identify during the course of the review. The independent Panel has been asked by the Minister for Local Government to:

12 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel 12 Terms of Reference cont. Identify new local government boundaries and a resultant reduction in the overall number of local governments to better meet the needs of the community. Prepare options to establish the most effective local government structures and governance models that take into account matters identified through the review including, but not limited to, community engagement, patterns of demographic change, regional and State growth and international factors which are likely to impact. Present a limited list of achievable options together with a recommendation on the preferred option.

13 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel Key drivers 13

14 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel Defining the Perth Metropolitan area 14

15 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel 15 Metropolitan local government as % of State total

16 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel Research Local government reforms elsewhere eg Auckland, Hobart, Queensland Metropolitan governance models Community engagement / governance Aspects of local government operations Local government financial position 16

17 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel 17 Review Process Review announced June 2011 First Panel meeting August 2011 Website critical (16, 000 visits to date) All the papers considered by the Panel are on the website (40 background, briefing and information papers) Issues Paper released October 2011 Public forums November 2011 Submissions on Issues Paper closed December 23 Over 260 submissions received All submissions on the website where permission was given Draft Findings released 27 April week period for further public comment Report to Minister, end of June 2012 …

18 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel Website 18

19 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel Issues paper: Key Questions 1.Do you think there is a need for better local government arrangements in metropolitan Perth? Why? Or why not? 10. Is metropolitan Perth in a position to be an effective international competitor? If not, what would you change? 13.Should more be done by local governments to engage with the community? 15.Does metropolitan Perth have too many local governments? 21. Are there any State provided services that local government might be better placed to provide? 19

20 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel Submission content Approx. 250 Submissions a mixture of views about the need for LG, the need for the metropolitan review and the best approach to reform. Views include: the abolition of local government issues with specific local governments some services better done at metro wide level local government more in tune with community than state or federal government 20

21 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel Submission content: Views supporting change Review needed and long overdue, number of councils grossly excessive Too many local governments, too much bureaucracy, duplication of assets, infrastructure and people Views against change No clear case for change - it isn't broken … Smaller local governments engage with the community better Local government submissions – some see need for change in the metropolitan area, but not in their local government 21

22 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel Submission content: different views on size Population size at least 30,000 30,000 to 60,000 not larger than 100,000 local governments of 200,000 are efficient 350,000 to 500,000 a good compromise Auckland model – a single local government for metro Perth 22

23 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel 23 Consultations Two public forums + LG forum Representatives of each Metropolitan local government invited to meet with the Panel (25 of 30 accepted) Representatives of key local government organisations WALGA, LGMA Representatives of key organisations e.g. Committee for Perth, Chamber of Commerce and Industry Representatives of key State Government agencies

24 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel Draft Findings Draft Findings paper released April 27. Not specific recommendations but general conclusions so far. 23 Key Findings 24

25 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel 25 Key Findings 1.Enhanced strategic thinking and leadership across the State and local government sector and the wider community will be required to manage the extraordinary growth of metropolitan Perth over the next 50 years.

26 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel 26 Key Findings – A need for change 2.The current local government arrangements will not provide the best outcomes for the community into the future. The status quo cannot and should not remain. 3.There is a need for significant change in Perths local government, including changes in local government structures, boundaries and governance. 4.The Panel envisages the outcome of the Review to be a stronger, more effective, more capable local government sector, with an enhanced role and greater authority.

27 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel 27 Key Findings – Risks of doing nothing 5.Uncertainty about the future needs to be addressed by prompt and decisive government decision making.

28 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel 28 Key Findings – A vision for metropolitan Perth 6.A shared vision for the future of Perth should be developed by the State government, together with local government, stakeholder and community groups. 7.A sense of place and local identity can be maintained through appropriate governance regardless of the size of a local government.

29 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel 29 Key Findings – Benefits of reform 8.The primary benefits of the proposed reforms include: –increased strategic capacity across the local government sector; –a more equitable spread of resources across metropolitan Perth and more equitable delivery of services to all residents; –reduced duplication and better use of infrastructure; –a streamlined regulatory environment with greater transparency, simplicity, consistency, and certainty with attendant costs savings for all sectors of the community; –potential to achieve greater economies of scale; –increased influence with State and Commonwealth governments reflected in improved funding for community projects; –the achievement of metropolitan-wide social, economic and environmental goals.

30 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel 30 Key Findings – Relationships, roles and functions 9.The structure and governance arrangements for local government in Perth cannot be considered in isolation from the role and function of local government, and from the relationship between State government and local governments. 10.Some functions need to be managed from a metropolitan- wide perspective, including waste disposal and treatment, transport and major planning. A shift in responsibility to the State government may be warranted. 11.Consideration should be given to establishing a Local Government Commission, comprising an Independent chair and persons with significant State and local government experience, to manage the relationship between State and local government, and to oversee implementation of the reform process. 12.A redefined local government would have its role enhanced including re-empowerment in local planning.

31 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel 31 Key Findings – Working towards an ideal structure for local government 13.The most appropriate options for local government in metropolitan Perth are: –10 to 12 councils centred on strategic activity centres –five councils based on the central area and sub-regions. –one single metro council

32 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel 32 Key Findings – Working towards an ideal structure for local government 14.In any future model, the size of the City of Perth should be increased and its role enhanced. 15.It is important to make significant change and create a new structure with robust boundaries to minimise the need for further debate and change in the short to medium term.

33 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel 33 Key Findings – Working towards an ideal structure for local government 16. Once a new structure is settled, there should be periodic boundary reviews undertaken by an independent body, to ensure the local government structure is optimal for meeting the changing needs of a growing metropolitan region. 17.The creation of larger local governments alone will not address all the shortcomings of the present system. 18.Local government's ability to connect to the community is an important asset. In any new local government structure for metropolitan Perth, community engagement must be strengthened, to improve accountability and reduce the power of special interest groups.

34 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel 34 Key Findings – Working towards an ideal structure for local government 19.Local government must invest in mechanisms that encourage the whole community to participate. Consideration must be given to the development of formal community engagement networks, which may include the adoption of new institutional arrangements and structures to ensure adequate community engagement and access to council. 20.If the new local government structure for metropolitan Perth comprises more than one local government, a Forum or Council of Perth Mayors should be created, chaired by the Lord Mayor.

35 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel 35 Key Findings – Governance 21.The role of elected members should be reshaped to enhance their capacity for strategic leadership and reduce their involvement in operational matters. 22.The potential for council controlled organisations / local government enterprises should be further considered. 23.Amendments to governance arrangements for local government in metropolitan Perth should include the following: –introduction of compulsory voting at local government elections –recognition of the primary role of elected members –election of Mayors by community –increased remuneration of elected members –training for elected members –clarification of the role of CEO and elected members

36 Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel Conclusion Draft Findings released for public comment Comments taken into account in forming recommendations. Final report to Minister due 30 June … Queries to the Project Director, Dr Chris Berry at


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