2017 State Election: Policy Priority 6 - Local Government Act Review Friday, October 28, 2016
Local Government is seeking a commitment to comprehensively review the Local Government Act.

The Local Government Act 1995 was drafted over 20 years ago and while most aspects of
governance and administration of the sector remain consistent, there have been dramatic changes in
technology since 1995 and some parts of the Act are now outdated. Further, there have been many
amendments to the Act since its inception, some of which have added layers of complexity to the
original legislative intent.

Reviewing the Local Government Act would provide the opportunity for the Local Government Act to
be contextually relevant to 21st Century technology. Further, there would be opportunities for Local
Government compliance costs to be reduced resulting in greater efficiencies, the benefits of which
would be realised by residents and ratepayers.

Funding:
No additional funding is required - within Department budget.

Benefit to the State:
A comprehensive review of the Local Government Act could reduce unnecessary compliance from the Local Government sector, leading to enhanced efficiencies and savings re-invested into community services and infrastructure.

Responses WALGA has received from political parties:

WA Labor:
WA Labor will conduct a comprehensive review of the Local Government Act 1995 (Act).

The Greens WA:
The Greens WA are very supportive of all of the ten priority areas with the focus on improving the quality of life of citizens. This is akin to our principle that Local Government has a valuable role as the third tier of government and in local governance and the representation of local issues and delivery of essential community services.

Liberal Party of WA:
WALGA has yet to receive a response.

The National Party of WA:
The Nationals understand that there are areas of concern within the Local Government Act 1996. Of
particular concern in the past twelve months has been the confusion around local government councillor disclosure requirements, which was brought to a head by the passage of the City of Perth Act 2015. 

The Nationals would support an independent review of the Local Government Act 1996 to ensure it is
functioning appropriately, to be undertaken by the Law Reform Commission.