This page represents a collation of WALGA’s advocacy positions and is correct as at January 2016. While every effort has been made to document all advocacy positions, some may not have been captured.

Guiding Principles

WALGA’s advocacy positions are determined by State Council as appropriate are typically guided by the following principles, expressed by WALGA’s “Vision for Local Government” in the Strategic Plan 2015-2020:

WALGA is committed to advancing the vision for Local Government in Western Australia where:

  • Local Governments will be built on good governance, autonomy, local leadership, democracy, community engagement and diversity; and
  • Local Governments will have the capacity to provide economically, socially and environmentally sustainable services and infrastructure that meets the needs of their communities.

As Local Governments all over Western Australia exist for the benefit of local communities, WALGA’s advocacy positions have been developed with community benefit front of mind.

1     Intergovernmental Relations

This section addresses issues associated with the Local Government sector’s relationship with the State and Federal Government.

1.1 State-Local Government Partnership Agreement

Position Statement
WALGA supports the establishment and signing of a Partnership Agreement between the Western Australian Government and the Local Government sector that documents a commitment to improving cooperation between the two sectors at strategic and project levels.

The Partnership Agreement should also incorporate a communication and consultation protocol that guides communication and consultation between the State Government and the Local Government sector with a minimum of twelve weeks of collaboration for legislative proposals that will impact Local Government operations and eight weeks of consultation for regulatory or compliance changes that will affect Local Government.


State Council Resolution
January 2012 – 2.1/2012
 

Supporting Documents
Metropolitan Local Government Reform Submission 2012
 

1.2    Constitutional Recognition of Local Government

Position Statement
Western Australian Local Governments support the financial and institutional recognition of Local Government in the Australian Constitution.


State Council Resolution
December 2008 – 452.6/2008

 

2    Governance and Organisational Services

Key issues associated with the Local Government Act and related Regulations, Local Government revenue including rating, regional development, regional cooperation, recruitment, employee relations, training, service delivery and Local Government Reform.

2.1   Local Government Revenue

Local Government revenue is derived from four main sources:

  • Rates;
  • Fees and charges;
  • Grants and contributions, and
  • Profit from business enterprises.

Local Government rates are an appropriate taxation mechanism for Local Governments to utilise to fund their activities. Local Government rates adhere to the five principles of taxation: equity, benefit, ability to pay, efficiency, simplicity.

As rating is based on property valuations, property owners will pay different amounts, meeting the principle of ‘equity’. There are benefits associated with rates in terms of Local Government services. The ability of the ratepayer to pay is taken into account through each Council’s deliberative process. Rates are not designed to change behaviour so cannot be considered inefficient. Finally, rates meet the principle of simplicity because they are understandable, hard to avoid and easy to collect.

2.1.1   Rating Exemptions – Charitable Purposes  

Position Statement
WALGA’s policy position regarding charitable purposes is as follows:
  1. Amend the Local Government Act to clarify that Independent Living Units should only be exempt from rates where they qualify under the Commonwealth Aged Care Act 1997;

  2. Either:

  1. amend the charitable organisations section of the Local Government Act 1995 to eliminate exemptions for commercial (non-charitable) business activities of charitable organisations;

or

  1. establish a compensatory fund for Local Governments, similar to the pensioner discount provisions, if the State Government believes charitable organisations remain exempt from payment of Local Government rates.

 

Background
Exemptions under this section of the Act have extended beyond the original intention and now provide rating exemptions for non-charitable purposes, which increase the rate burden to other ratepayers. There may be an argument for exemptions to be granted by State or Federal legislation.

Examples include exemptions granted by the Commonwealth Aged Care Act 1997 and group housing for the physically and intellectually disabled which is supported under a government scheme such as a Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement or Commonwealth-State Disability Agreement.

 

State Council Resolution
December 2015 – 118.7/2015
January 2012 – 5.1/2012
 

Supporting Documents
Metropolitan Local Government Reform Submission 2012

 

2.1.2   Rating Exemptions – Rate Equivalency Payments

Position Statement
Legislation should be amended so rate equivalency payments made by LandCorp and other Government Trading Entities are made to the relevant Local Governments instead of the State Government.


Background
A particular example is the exemption granted to LandCorp by the Land Authority Act 1992. In 1998, the Act was amended to include provisions for LandCorp to pay the Treasurer an amount equal to that which would have otherwise been payable in Local Government rates, based on the principle of ‘competitive neutrality’.

This matter is of concern to Local Governments with significant LandCorp holdings in their district. The shortfall in rates is effectively paid by other ratepayers, which means ratepayers have to pay increased rates because LandCorp has a presence in the district.

The current situation involving the Perth Airport demonstrates that such a system is appropriate and can work in practice. In this case, the Commonwealth Government requires the lessee to make a rate equivalency payment to the relevant Local Government and not the Commonwealth. There is no reason why a similar system cannot be adopted for State Government Trading Entities.
 

State Council Resolution    
January 2012 – 6.1/2012
 

Supporting Documents    
Metropolitan Local Government Reform Submission 2012

 

2.1.3   Rating Restrictions – State Agreement Acts

Position Statement    
Resource projects covered by State Agreement Acts should be liable for Local Government rates.
 

Background    
Before the 1980s, State Government conditions of consent for major resources projects in WA included the requirement for purpose-built towns in close proximity to project sites. These conditions were detailed in State Agreement Acts, which are essentially contracts between the State Government and proponents of major resources projects that are ratified by the State Parliament.

The requirement to provide community services and infrastructure meant State Agreement Acts typically included a Local Government rating restriction clause. Many of these towns have since been ‘normalised’ due to Local Governments, the State Government and utility providers assuming responsibility for services and infrastructure.

In 2011, the State Government introduced a new policy on ‘the application of Gross Rental Valuation to mining, petroleum and resource interests’ (the GRV mining policy). The policy would apply for a 3 year trial period from July 1, 2012. The trial period was recently extended until 30 September, pending the outcomes of a review of the policy. The primary objectives of the policy were to clarify the circumstances where Local Governments could apply GRV rating to mining land and enable the use of GRV rating on new (i.e., initiated after June 2012) mining, petroleum and resource interests. This included the application of GRV rating to new State Agreement Acts.

However, existing State Agreement Acts continue to restrict Local Government rating. Local Governments can only rate projects covered by existing Agreements in the unlikely event of ‘both parties agree[ing] to adopt the policy ’[1]. Alternatively, the State Government has also stated that ‘projects that operate under existing State Agreements and currently exempt from rates may apply the policy as part of their respective Agreement Variation processes with the Department of State Development during the trial period’[2]. Again, this statement suggests it is unlikely that the rating exemptions will be removed for existing State Agreements since variations are infrequent and there is no real requirement to remove the exemptions.

Rating exemptions on State Agreement Acts mean that Local Governments are denied an efficient source of revenue. There are also equity issues associated with the existing exemptions since they only apply to a select group of mining companies whose projects are subject to older State Agreement Acts. Removing the rates exemption clauses from the pre-July 2012 State Agreement Acts would provide a fairer outcome for all other ratepayers, including the proponents of new resources projects. 
 

State Council Resolution    
September 2014 – 89.4/2014
March 2014 – 10.1/2014
October 2011 – 116.5/2011
 

Supporting Documents    
Metropolitan Local Government Reform Submission 2012 
 

2.1.4   Rate Setting

Position Statement
The Local Government sector opposes rate capping or any externally imposed limit on Local Government’s capacity to raise revenue as appropriately determined by the Council.
 

Background
The Local Government sector fundamentally opposes ‘rate capping’ based on the following rationale:

  1. Local Government is a legitimate and essential sphere of Government with the democratically enshrined mandate to raise revenue through rates to fund infrastructure and services for the benefit of their community.

  2. Councils’ deliberative rate setting processes reference their Integrated Planning Framework – a thorough strategic, financial and asset management planning process – and draw upon the community’s willingness and capacity to pay.

  3. Rate-capping prejudices Local Government’s long-term financial management and can, as experienced in other jurisdictions, have detrimental long-term effects on Local Government asset management, with chronic under-rating leading to significant infrastructure maintenance and renewal backlogs.

  4. Rate capping places undue pressure on sound financial management at a time when Local Governments are subjected to increasing costs beyond their control, often imposed by other spheres of Government.

  5. Local Government rates have remained steady for many years at approximately 3.7 percent of GDP in Australia; meaningful tax reform would require thorough investigation of the total taxation burden, not an external cap on Local Government rates.


State Council Resolution
September 2015 – 96.6/2015
December 2015 – 118.7/2015

Supporting Documents
Rate Setting Policy Statement

 

2.1.5   Pensioner Discounts on Waste Charges

Position Statement
WALGA supports the extension of pensioner and senior concession discounts under the Rates and Charges (Rebates and Deferments) Act 1992 to apply to residential waste charges.
 

Background
Concession discounts apply to the general rate applied to Local Governments, but do not apply to waste charges. This anomaly creates an incentive for Local Governments to bundle their waste charges into the general rate, which effectively reduces transparency.


State Council Resolution
October 2011 – 117.5/2011
 

2.1.6   Fees and Charges

Position Statement 
That a review be undertaken to remove fees and charges from legislation and Councils be empowered to set fees and charges for Local Government services.
 

Background
Local Governments are able to impose fees and charges on users of specific, often incidental, services. Examples include dog registration fees, fees for building approvals and swimming pool entrance fees.

In some cases, Local Governments will recoup the entire cost of providing a service. In other cases, user charges may be set below cost recovery to encourage a particular activity with identified community benefit, such as sporting ground user fees or swimming pool entry fees.

Currently, fees and charges are determined according to three methods:
  • By legislation;
  • With an upper limit set by legislation, and
  • By the Local Government.

Fees determined by State Government legislation are of particular concern to Local Governments and represent significant revenue leakage because of:

  • Lack of indexation;
  • Lack of regular review (fees may remain at the same nominal levels for decades), and
  • Lack of transparent methodology in setting the fees (fees do not appear to be set with regard to appropriate costs recovery levels).
Examples of fees and charges of this nature include dog registrations fees, town planning fees and building permits. Since Local Governments do not have direct control over the determination of fees set by legislation, this revenue leakage is recovered from rate revenue. This means all ratepayers end up subsidising the activities of some ratepayers.

When fees and charges are restricted by legislation, rather than being set at cost recovery levels, this sends inappropriate signals to users of Local Government services, particularly when the consumption of those services is discretionary. When legislative limits allow consumers to pay below ‘true cost’ levels for a discretionary service, this will lead to overprovision and a misallocation of resources. 
 
Under the principle of ‘general competence’ there is no reason why Local Governments should not be empowered to make decisions regarding the setting of fees and charges for specific services.
 

State Council Resolution
December 2012 – 133.6/2012
January 2012 – 8.1/2012
 

Supporting Documents
Metropolitan Local Government Reform Submission 2012
 

2.1.7   Financial Assistance Grants  

Position Statement
Financial Assistance Grants should remain as an untied transfer to Local Governments and the current minimum grant structure should be retained. Additionally, the following aspects of the Financial Assistance Grants program should be reviewed:

  1. The quantum of the funding pool;
  2. The indexation methodology; and
  3. The ‘National Principle’ relating to ‘Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders’.


Background
Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) make a significant contribution to Local Governments’ financial sustainability. In 2014-15, FAGs accounted for 6.4% of total revenue for WA Local Governments. FAGs are particularly important to rural and remote Local Governments, which often have a low capacity to raise their own revenue.

In 2012 and 2013 the Commonwealth Grants Commission conducted a review of FAGs. The Association’s submission to this review outlined the arguments that support the above position statement.

Untied funding, such as FAGs, allows Local Governments to allocate expenditure according to the conditions and the preferences of their community. Furthermore, untied funding arrangements have lower administration costs for both Local Government and the Commonwealth Government.

Removing the Minimum Grant principle would have a significant negative impact on the Local Governments currently receiving the minimum grant. Therefore, the Association believes the current minimum grant structure should be retained.

FAGs as a proportion of Commonwealth taxation have been steadily decreasing over time. An increase to the funding pool and a more appropriate indexation methodology would help stop this trend.

The National Principle relating to Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders should be reviewed since improved service provision to such communities would be more appropriately addressed through tied funding grants, rather than untied FAGs funding.

 

State Council Resolution
May 2013 – 201.2/2013
 

Supporting Documents
Submission to the Commonwealth Grants Commission: Review of Financial Assistance Grants – March 2013
 

2.1.8   Restrictions on Borrowings

Position Statement
Section 6.21 of the Local Government Act 1995 should be amended to allow Local Governments to use freehold land, in addition to its general fund, as security when borrowing.
 

Background
Borrowing restrictions in the Local Government Act 1995 act as a disincentive for investment in community infrastructure. Section 6.21(2) states that a Local Government can only use its ‘general funds’ as security for borrowings to upgrade community infrastructure, and is restricted from using its assets to secure its borrowings. This provision severely restricts the borrowing capacity of Local Governments and reduces the scale of borrowing that can be undertaken to the detriment of the community.

This is particularly relevant since the Global Financial Crisis. Treasury now requires member Local Governments to show as contingent liabilities in their balance sheet their proportion of contingent liabilities of the Regional Local Government of which they are a member. Given that the cost of provision of an Alternative Waste Disposal System is anything up to $100 million, the share of contingent liabilities for any Local Government is significant. Even under a ‘Build-Own-Operate’ financing method, the unpaid (future) payments to a contractor must be recognised in the balance sheet of the Regional Local Government as a contingent liability.

This alone is likely to prevent some Local Governments from borrowing funds to finance its own work as the value of contingent liabilities are taken into account by Treasury for borrowing purposes.
 

State Council Resolution
January 2012 – 8.1/2012
 

Supporting Documents
Metropolitan Local Government Reform Submission 2012

 

2.1.9   Tender Threshold

Position Statement
WALGA supports an increase in the tender threshold to align with the State Government tender threshold, with a timeframe of one financial year for individual vendors.


Background
The tender threshold should be increased to allow Local Governments responsiveness when procuring relatively low value good and services.


State Council Resolution
July 2015 – 74.4/2015
September 2014 – 88.4/2014

 

2.1.10 Panel Tenders

Position Statement
WALGA supports amendment to the Functions and General Regulations to permit panel tenders.


State Council Resolution
July 2015 – 74.4/2015
September 2014 – 88.4/2014
 

2.2   Local Government Reform

Position Statement
The sector-endorsed vision for Local Government, encapsulated in the Systemic Sustainability Study (SSS) final report, The Journey: Sustainability into the Future, is:

“Local Government will implement and maintain a governance model that integrates effective service delivery with appropriate political representation.”


State Council Resolution
January 2013 – 163.1/2013
August 2008 – 399.4/2008
 

Supporting Documents
Metropolitan Local Government Review Submissions (2012)
Systemic Sustainability Study (SSS) Reports (2006, 2007, 2008)


2.2.1   Structural Reform

Position Statement
Structural Reform of Local Government, including amalgamations, should only be undertaken on a voluntary basis.


Background
The Association has consistently and strongly argued that any State Government reform of the Local Government Sector – whether changes to boundaries, governance or service delivery arrangements – should be implemented on a voluntary basis and should be State Government funded. If this does not occur, affected communities will pay for reform which they may not have endorsed or supported.


State Council Resolution
January 2013 – 163.1/2013
August 2008 – 399.4/2008
 

Supporting Documents
Metropolitan Local Government Review Submissions (2012)
Systemic Sustainability Study (SSS) Reports (2006, 2007, 2008)  
 

2.2.2   Poll Provisions

Position Statement
Schedule 2.1 of the Local Government Act 1995 should be amended so that the electors of a Local Government affected by any boundary change or amalgamation proposal are entitled to petition the Minister for a binding poll.


State Council Resolution
December 2014 – 108.5/2014
 

2.2.3   Local Government Audit Structure

Position Statement
WALGA supports the introduction of an audit structure for Local Government in Western Australia with the following key points:

  • The establishment of a Peak Audit Advisory Group comprising the Office of Auditor General, Department of Local Government and Communities, WALGA and LGMA (WA);
  • The Department of Local Government and Communities as the body responsible for ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of Local Government would be responsible for overseeing Local Government financial, compliance and probity auditing;
  • The Peak Audit Advisory Group would set the scope of the audit, audit standards and management training for Local Government staff and Elected Members;
  • The individual audits of Local Governments would continue to be carried out by the private sector with the Office of the Auditor General being responsible for establishing and managing an External Auditors Panel of eligible auditors who would quote / tender for the various audits;
  • The Office of Auditor General would conduct Audit reviews, rather than actually carrying out the Audit. This would allow for the Office of Auditor General to review a higher number of audits;
  • The Department of Local Government and Communities would continue to oversee the Compliance Audit Return, and
  • Establishing the Peak Audit Advisory Group will allow comparative reporting.


Background
The Public Accounts Committee reported on Local Government accountability in Western Australia and recommended that the Auditor General should audit no more than 15% of Local Governments on a rotating basis, with the remainder to be tendered out to the private sector.

WALGA and LGMA (WA) participated on a Reference Group established to consider the Public Accounts Committee recommendations and the model, outlined above, was proposed.

The proposed structure is represented diagrammatically, as follows:



State Council Resolution
February 2007 – 166.1/2007

 

2.2.4   Metropolitan Local Government Review

Position Statement
WALGA supports a Governance Model for the Perth metropolitan region consisting of approximately 15-20 Local Governments, and will work towards achieving this objective, based on sustainability principles, with reference to Directions 2031, using existing Local Government boundaries as a starting point.
 

State Council Resolution 
January 2013 – 163.1/2013
 

Supporting Documents
Metropolitan Local Government Review Submissions (2012)  

 

2.2.5   Implementation of Metropolitan Local Government Reform

Position Statement
WALGA endorses the following process for the implementation of Metropolitan Local Government Reform:

That, in the event Local Government reform proceeds, a staged reform transition process is implemented whereby:

  1. The State Government establishes and states its vision and objectives for Local Government in metropolitan Perth and country Western Australia, and determines the parameters for Local Government structural reform;
  2. The Local Government sector is empowered to achieve the objectives within a 12 month timeframe;
  3. That transitionary arrangements are managed by selected serving Elected Members from the amalgamating Local Governments rather than appointed commissioners;
  4. That any change to the structure and governance of Local Governments, whether forced or voluntary, is funded by the State Government; and,
  5. That the Local Government sector and Local Government peak bodies – WALGA and the LGMA – are involved in any Local Government reform initiative stemming from the Metropolitan Local Government Review.


State Council Resolution
163.1/2013 – January 2013

 

2.3   Service Delivery Models

A key function of Local Government is to effectively and efficiently provide services to the community. One way for this to occur is for Local Governments to be able to enter into a shared service model to access greater economies of scale where they exist.

The Association has consistently argued for increased flexibility for Local Governments to enter into alternative service delivery arrangements.

The Association’s position on Local Government service delivery models contains three key planks, all of which require amendment to the Local Government Act 1995:

  • Reduced compliance obligations for Regional Local Governments,
  • Enable Local Governments to establish Regional Subsidiaries, and
  • Enable Local Governments to establish Council Controlled Organisations (CCO).
 

2.3.1   Regional Local Governments

Position Statement
The compliance obligations of Regional Local Governments should be reviewed.
 

Background
Currently, Regional Local Governments are treated by the Local Government Act 1995 for the purposes of compliance, as if they were a Local Government.

The Association believes that this places an overly large compliance burden on Regional Local Governments. The large compliance burden reduces potential cost savings that aggregated service delivery may achieve through increased efficiency and acts as a disincentive for Local Governments to establish Regional Local Governments.


State Council Resolution
January 2012 – 9.1/2012
 

Supporting Documents
Metropolitan Local Government Review Submissions (2012)

 

2.3.2   Regional Subsidiaries

Position Statement
The Local Government Act 1995 should be amended to enable two or more Local Governments to establish a regional subsidiary to provide shared services to and on behalf of their communities.


Background
The regional subsidiary model, utilised in South Australia, has the potential to provide improved service delivery to communities on behalf of the constituent Local Governments.

There are three key benefits of the regional subsidiary model: the model is flexible, as it is principally governed by a charter, the model’s governance structure enables the appointment of independent expertise and the model provides greater accountability than the traditional Local Government service delivery model.


State Council Resolution
August 2011 – 94.4/2011
October 2010 – 114.5/2010
 

Supporting Documents
Submission to Parliamentary Committee on Regional Subsidiary Model (2011)

 

2.3.3   Council Controlled Organisations

Position Statement
The Local Government Act 1995 should be amended to enable Local Governments to establish Council Controlled Organisations (CCO).
 

Background
The CCO model is available to Local Governments in New Zealand where they are used for a variety of purposes. The model allows one or more Local Governments to establish a wholly Local Government owned commercial organisation.

The Association has developed the amendments required for the CCO model to be implemented in Western Australia.
 

State Council Resolution
October 2010 – 107.5/2010
October 2010 – 114.5/2010
 

Supporting Documents
Council Controlled Organisations Summary (2010)

 

2.4   Regional Development

 

2.4.1   Regional Development Commissions

Position Statement
The underlying principle of Regional Development Commissions being governed by a Board with strong links to the region must remain.
 

Background
Regional development policy will be most successful when it is overseen by a governing board with strong community and business links to the region. Regional decision-making and oversight is fundamental to the Regional Development Commission model.
 

State Council Resolution
September 2010 – 112.5/2010
 

Supporting Documents
WALGA Submission: Review of Functions and Responsibilities of Regional Development Commissions – June 2010
WALGA Submission: Structuring Regional Development for the Future: A Review of the Functions and Responsibilities of Regional Development Commissions – January 2011
 

2.4.2   Country Local Government Fund

Position Statement
The Country Local Government Fund should be reinstated at a level commensurate with is original intent of addressing country Local Governments’ infrastructure backlog.
 

State Council Resolution
September 2013 – 244.4/2013

 

2.5   Local Government Elections

 

2.5.1   Method of Voting

Position Statement
Elections should be conducted utilising the first-past-the-post (FPTP) method of voting.

Background
The FPTP method is simple, allows an expression of the electorate’s wishes and does not encourage tickets and alliances to be formed to allocate preferences.


State Council Resolution
427.5/2008 – October 2008

 

2.5.2   Voluntary Voting

Position Statement
Voting in Local Government elections should remain voluntary.


State Council Resolution
427.5/2008 – October 2008

 

2.5.3   Method of Election of Mayor

Position Statement
Local Governments should determine whether their Mayor or President will be elected by the Council or elected by the community.  

State Council Resolution
163.1/2013 – March 2013

2.5.4   Conduct of Postal Elections

Position Statement
The Local Government Act 1995 should be amended to allow the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) and Local Governments to conduct postal elections.
 

Background
Currently, the WAEC has a legislatively enshrined monopoly on the conduct of postal elections that has not been tested by the market.
 

State Council Resolution
March 2012 – 24.2/2012  

2.6   Local Government Legislation

 

2.6.1   Annual Electors’ General Meeting

Position Statement
Section 5.27 of the Local Government Act 1995 should be amended so that Electors’ General Meetings are not compulsory.
 

Background
There is adequate provision in the Local Government Act for the public to participate in Local Government matters and access information by attending meetings, participating in public question time, lodging petitions, and requesting special electors’ meetings.
 

State Council Resolution
February 2011 – 09.1/2011   

 

2.6.2   Notification of Affected Owners

Position Statement
Section 3.51 of the Local Government Act 1995 concerning “Affected owners to be notified of certain proposals” should be amended to achieve the following effects:

  1. To limit definition of “person having an interest” to those persons immediately adjoining the proposed road works (i.e. similar principle to town planning consultation); and
  2. To specify that only significant, defined categories of proposed road works require local public notice under Section 3.51 (3) (a).


State Council Resolution
February 2009 – 480.1/2009

 

2.7   Employee Relations

 

2.7.1   Federal Award Coverage

Position Statement
Local Governments should continue to be considered ‘National System Employers’ (NSE) for the purposes of the Fair Work Act 2009.


Background
Western Australian Local Government employees have been predominantly employed under Federal industrial Awards. Until 31 December 2009 these were the Local Government Officers’ Award (1999) and the Municipal Employees’ Award (1999). This means that over 95 percent of employees fall within the ‘Federal system’.
 

State Council Resolution
April 2011 – 47.2/2011

 

2.8   Elected Member Training

Position Statement
WALGA opposes legislative change that would:

  1. Require candidates to undertake training prior to nominating for election;
  2. Incentivise Elected Member training through the fees and allowances framework; or
  3. Mandate Elected Member training.

Further, if mandatory training becomes inevitable, WALGA will seek to ensure that it:

  1. Only applies to first time Elected Members;
  2. Utilises the Elected Member Skill Set   as the appropriate content for mandatory training;
  3. Applies appropriate Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL);
  4. Requires training to be completed within the first 12 months of office; and
  5. Applies a penalty for non-completion of a reduction in fees and allowances payable.


State Council Resolution
December 2015 – 119.7/2015
October 2008 – 399.4/2008
 

Supporting Documents
Policy Options to Increase Elected Member Training Participation – Discussion Paper

 

2.9   Elected Member Remuneration

 

2.9.1   Payment of Sitting Fees to Local Government Representatives

Position Statement
WALGA supports policy change to permit the remuneration of all Local Government Elected Members who represent the Local Government sector on a State Government Board, Committee or Panel while employed as a public servant.


Background
The State Government precludes State Government employees from receiving sitting fees while serving on State Government Boards and Committees. Anomalies with this policy occur when Elected Members, employed in the public service, are representing the Local Government sector on a State Government Board or Committee but do not receive sitting fees due to their employment status, which may be completely unrelated to the Board or Committee.
 

State Council Resolution
August 2012 – 84.4/2012

3    Planning & Community Development

Key issues associated with land use and statutory planning, libraries, public health, childcare, emergency management, sport and recreation and culture and the arts.
 

3.1   Planning Principles

 
All legislation and policy which deals with planning and development must
  • Ensure role clarity and consistency across all legislation controlling development, to avoid confusion of powers and responsibilities;
  • Be easily interpreted by, understood by and accessible to all sections of the community, and
  • Be amended only with WALGA involvement and/or consultation/involvement with local government.
 

3.2   Planning Reform

Position Statement
The Local Government sector supports the underlying principles of planning reform and the continuing focus of streamlining the planning system.
 

Background
The fundamental principles of the State Government’s reform program are supported, in particular the aim to refocus strategic priorities, address design and operational problems in the planning approval process and clarify and streamline the institutional arrangements. Partnership arrangements with the State Government are supported, so that a fair and balanced system can be developed. Progress and finalisation of the individual reforms have been captured in the ‘Planning Makes it Happen – Report Card’, with additional reforms still proposed by the State.

In December 2014, the State Council resolved to advise the Minister for Planning and the WA Planning Commission, in regard to the Planning Makes it Happen: Phase Two: Blueprint for Planning Reform of the following: Local Government should be consulted on delegation arrangements under the Metropolitan Region Scheme and for structure planning delegations, the sector does not support private certifications of planning applications, a guide to planning delegations is being finalised by WALGA and the Department of Planning must be adequately resourced to cope with the increase of workload that will result from reform measures.


State Council Resolution
March 2016 - 5.1/2016
December 2014 – 118.5/2014
December 2013 – 274.5/2013
June 2010 (Approvals and Related Reforms (Planning) Bill)
April 2010 (review of Model Subdivision Conditions
October 2009 (review of Town Planning regulations 2009, Model Scheme Text and Structure Plans)
June 2009 (Building a Better Planning System)

 

3.3   Local Government Planning Improvement Program

Position Statement
The Association supports the establishment of a Planning Improvement Program specifically for the Local Government sector.


Background
The Program’s key mission statement is to ‘ensure better outcomes through consistency and efficiency’ providing best practice examples and information for local government planning departments to undertake improvements within their organisation rather than the imposition of reform measures.


State Council Resolution
September 2012 – 108.5/2012
 

Supporting Documents
Local Government Planning Improvement Program - Action Plan

 

3.4   Third Party Appeal rights

Position Statement
Local Government does not support the introduction of Third Party Appeal rights.
 

Background
It is considered that the current strategic and statutory planning process in WA, and consideration of applications by Local Governments, already takes into account the views of affected parties and the community generally. There is no justification for Third Party Appeals legislation and there are significant negative implications for Local Government, industry and the community, Local Government continues to be opposed to the introduction of third party appeal rights in Western Australia.
 

State Council Resolution
February 2008 – 326.1/2008
 

3.5   Development Assessment Panels  

Position Statement
The Association does not support Development Assessment Panels (DAPs), in their current structure.


Background
In October 2014, the Parliamentary Committee on Uniform Legislation and Statutes commenced an investigation into the operation and efficiency of DAP’s (to be completed in Sept 2105).

The Association has prepared a number of recommendations for improvement to the DAP system, most importantly, that a full and comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of the DAP system be conducted by an independent organisation as a matter of priority to assess the net benefit of DAPs in total. Eight other more specific recommendations to improve the DAP system were also suggested, if the cost benefit analysis is not undertaken.


State Council Resolution
July 2015
March 2015 – 3.1/2015
March 2013 – 166.1/2013
December 2012 – 138.6/2012
February 2011 – 10.1/2011
June 2010 – 57.3/2010
 

Supporting Documents
Submission to the legislative council’s parliamentary committee January 2015
Development Assessment Panels: Local Government Survey 2012

 

3.6   Bush Fire Hazard Mitigation and Planning

Position Statement
State Council supports state-wide, minimum bushfire mitigation standards, specifically to:

  • Give legislative effect to bushfire guidelines;
  • Improve guidance on design of subdivision and buildings;
  • Provide policy guidance, model subdivision and development conditions;
  • Establish an accreditation system for BAL assessments, and
  • Establish a training and education program.


Background
The Association is concerned that the entire planning for bushfire risk management policy framework has been undertaken in a fragmented manner. Therefore, the effectiveness of the entire policy framework has not been properly assessed and it is not clear how the various policy components and the planning and building framework will interact.


State Council Resolution
December 2015 – 126.7/2015
December 2014 – 115.5/2014
September 2013 – 251.4/2013
May 2013 – 200.2/2013
September 2012 – 111.5/2013
July 2011 – 218.3/2013

 

3.7   Building Act and Fees

Position Statement
The Local Government sector supported the modernization of the Building Act to create a better framework for the consideration and approval of building permits in WA.


Background
The Association has the following endorsed positions:

  • Deemed approvals are not supported as they do not result in certainty for the customer that a building is structurally sound;
  • Full Private Certification – retain Local Government as the permit authority to keep the separation between the technical assessment and the final permit issuing. Reduces the conflict of interests for private building certifiers and maintains community expectations that an independent and impartial authority will be issuing the approval;
  • Mandatory inspections should occur for all classes of buildings;
  • Supports and will assist in the promotion of Local Governments establishing certification units as an alternative to independent private certification units;
  • An ‘application for compliance’ process is a more complete pre certified check and should be investigated further;
  • The fee for structure applications made under the Building Act should be reviewed with the aim for cost recovery, and
  • Strongly oppose the ‘Instant Startse oncept as it is not based on any policy foundation and has inherent risks and potential liability for Local Government.

State Council Resolution
December 2015 - 124.7/2015
December 2014 – 119.5/2014
September 2013 – 246.4/2013
December 2012 – 140.6/2012
May 2012 – 56.3/2012
February 2011 – 16.2/2011
 

Supporting Documents
WALGA Response to the Building Commission’s Discussion Paper: Instant Start: Outline for Consultation

 

3.8   Planning Fees and Charges

Position Statement
Local Government should achieve substantial cost recovery/fee for service in the delivery of its planning services; and any change to the fee structure should be carried out in consultation with the entire Local Government sector.


Background
A review of the planning fees and charges regulated under the Planning and Development Regulations 2009 was undertaken in 2012 with a sample of Local Government planning departments. It was recommended that a full review should occur, as the present system is cumbersome and a recent review and proposed recommendations have wider implications for Local Government and other key stakeholders.
 

State Council Resolution
March 2013 – 167.1/2013
 

Supporting Documents
Report - Local Government Planning and Development Fees and Charges Review March 2013

 

3.9   Prostitution Legislation

Position Statement
The Local Government sector supports in principle, the recognition and licensing of prostitution in WA as it allows normal regulatory controls to be put in place, on condition that brothels should be excluded from predominantly residential areas.


Background
The Association has been involved in discussions / proposals to decriminalize prostitution since 1999.  State Council has determined the position through consultation with all member Councils (on several occasions), and consideration of feedback and representative position papers, workshops, discussions with other government agencies, support groups and members of the prostitution industry. The Association will only comment on regulatory, operational, amenity and cost implications that arise for local government from any proposed legislation – not moral issues.
 

State Council Resolution
October 2011 – 109.5/2011

 

3.10          Directions 2031

Position Statement
To enable the success of Directions 2031 and its associated policies, the Association recommends that the Minister for Planning re-establish a State/Local Government consultative committee to assist with the implementation of Directions 2031 and Beyond and its associated policies. 


Background
Additional recommendations specifically requested that:

  • The Minister for Planning establish implementation funding for the implementation of Directions 2031 and Beyond and its associated policies; and
  • The WAPC seek a partnership approach between State/Local Government and UDIA in reviewing urban infill and greenfield dwelling targets in the Peel Sub-Regional Strategy area based upon a reassessment of Urban Investigation Areas linked with employment generating activity centres, industrial precincts and transport networks over a longer term planning horizon to prevent land shortages that will drive up housing prices and reduce affordability.


State Council Resolution
18 February 2011 – 11.1/2011

 

3.11          Coastal Planning

Position Statement
The Local Government sector supports the following, in any discussions or proposals regarding coastal planning:

  • State Council has endorsed five actions to be undertaken as outlined within the Local Government and Coastal Land Use Planning Discussion Paper;
  • That the State Government provides a clear funding path for the implementation of State Planning Policy 2.6 – State Coastal Planning Policy, to ensure that Local Governments are appropriately funded to prepare and implement coastal hazard risk management and adaptation plans, and
  • That future canal estates, waterways and harbours to be considered on a case by case basis by WAPC and individual Local Governments, taking into account the most stringent and sustainable environmental and planning requirements, appropriate technologies and potential future liabilities (WAPC Development Control Policy 1.8).


State Council Resolution
December 2015 – 127.7/2015
May 2015 - 37.2/2015
September 2012 – 86.4/2012
May 2012 – 26.2/2012
 

Supporting Documents
Interim Submission – Peel Region Scheme Floodplain Management Policy

 

3.12          Town Planning and Alcohol Outlets

Position Statement
State Council has endorsed Local Government Town Planning Guideline for Alcohol Outlets, which responds to increasing calls from Local Government for alcohol management assistance and provides advice to Local Government town planners in the consideration and control of land use activities that have a component of alcohol consumption or sale.


State Council Resolution
September 2013 – 252.4/2013
 

Supporting Documents
Local Government Town Planning Guideline for Alcohol Outlets
 

3.13          Public Open Space

Position Statement
As public open space is fundamental to lifestyle wellbeing, mental and physical health, Local Government supports the development of new subdivisions that are characterised by a combination of public open space for recreational, sporting or natural purposes, and are distributed for neighbourhood, district and regional use*.
 

Background
Over the years, concerns have been raised regarding the allocation of public open space for different recreational, environmental and drainage purposes as well as the development and ongoing management of open space and recreational facilities. 

A policy position was established in 2006 outlining a range of advocacy issues to pursue with the State Government, relating to the funding arrangements, provision of additional guidelines, policy reviews particularly the WAPC’s Liveable Neighbourhoods document and cash-in-lieu arrangements. Further work was undertaken in 2009 to outline the potential impacts of climate change on public open space management, as well as the water allocation and usage by local government.
 

State Council Resolution
June 2009 – 521.3/2009
June 2006 – 069.DEV.3/2006
 

Supporting Documents
Policy Statement “Public Open Space – review of Current Policy and Practice”
Policy Statement on Water for Public Open Space
Policy Statement on Climate Change 2009
*Department of Sport and Recreation’s ‘Classification framework for public open space’ 2012
 

3.14          Affordable Housing

Position Statement 
The Association supports efforts to understand the issues concerning the supply of affordable homes. It is concerned, however, that current discussions fail to define affordable housing and does not clearly identify if the aim is to examine options for making housing more affordable in general or to secure a dedicated supply of affordable housing, such as social housing.
 

Background
A range of issues have been raised in various submission and background reports to comment on the role of Local Government in this space.


State Council Resolution
May 2014 – 33.2/2014
March 2014 – 9.1/2014
March 2014 – 8.1/2014
May 2012 – 70.3/2012
June 2006 – 070.DEV.3/2006


Supporting Documents
Position Paper: Housing Strategy WA
 
 

3.15          Housing for the Aged

Position Statement
The Association:

  1. Supports the development of Local Government guidance and tools to assist in the preparation of local housing strategies as part of the Association’s Planning Improvement Program;
  2. Will investigate potential residential property tax reforms that may improve the efficiency of the housing market, and
  3. Reaffirms WALGA’s policy position that Independent Living Units should only be exempt from rates where they qualify under the Commonwealth Aged Care Act 1997.


State Council Resolution 
September 2014 – 90.4/2014

 

3.16          Capital City Planning Framework

Position Statement
The Association considered that the Capital City Planning Framework should reflect a whole-of-Government approach to planning for Central Perth, by embedding additional aspirational information from other State Government agencies to achieve greater consistency across Government agencies.
 

Background
In June 2011, the WA Planning Commission released the Capital City Planning Framework which set out a spatial strategy for Central Perth, the 12 kilometre by 12 kilometre area around the city centre. The document provides a vision and context to the strategic planning and development of central Perth and its surrounding localities and was finalised in February 2013.
 

State Council Resolution
December 2011 – 141.7/2011
 

Supporting Documents
Submission December 2011

 

3.17          Built Heritage

Position Statement
Local Government acknowledges the role of history and built heritage in the development of community cultural identity.
 

Background
Local Government plays a key role in the promotion and preservation of this heritage by maintaining Municipal Heritage Inventories, and through provisions in local planning schemes.
 

State Council Resolution
December 2015 – 128.7/2015
April 2006 – 042.COM.2/2006
December 2005 – 0160.COM.6/2005
 

Supporting Documents
WALGA Submission to the Heritage Council Heritage Bill 2015

 

3.18          Aboriginal Communities

 

3.18.1 Service Delivery to Aboriginal Communities

Position Statement
Western Australian Local Governments with Aboriginal communities are supportive of efforts to improve the living conditions and governance in communities that currently receive municipal and essential services such as power and water, to a level that is similar to other Australians, living in towns and cities.
 

Background
There are 287 discrete Aboriginal Communities in Western Australia accommodating approximately 17,000 Indigenous people spanning 26 Local Governments.
 

State Council Resolution
July 2014 – 64.3/2014
December 2012 – 150.6/2012
May 2012 – 69.3/2012
May 2012 – 61.3/2012
March 2012 – 25.2/2012
December 2011 – 153.7/2011
June 2009 – 520.3/2009
October 2007 – 271.5/2007
February 2007 – 181.1/2007
 

Supporting Documents
WALGA Communique: Service Delivery to Aboriginal Communities 2010

 

3.18.2 Reconciliation

Position Statement
The Association supports the efforts of the Local Government sector to recognise and respect Aboriginal cultural practices and places of meaning, through the development of Reconciliation Action Plans.
 

Background
Many Aboriginal places and objects remain significant in the lives of Aboriginal people today and contribute to an understanding by the whole community of our place and history. Reconciliation is about building better relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider Australian community for the benefit of all Australians.
 

State Council Resolution
September 2012 – 118.5/2012

 

3.18.3 Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 and South West Native Title Settlement

Position Statement
The Association acknowledges Noongar people as the traditional owners of the South West Region. Local Government is supportive of conserving and protecting the State’s Aboriginal heritage.
 

Background
The Association supports the proposed reform to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 to improve the clarity, compliance, effectiveness and certainty in application of the Act.

The South West Native Title Settlement impacts on 106 WALGA Members. Local Governments will benefit from the removal of the future act regime under the Native Title Act 1993 and the creation of a standard approach to cultural heritage management.

The South West Native Title Settlement recognises Noongar people as the traditional owners of the South West. The settlement includes the creation of a Noongar Investment Trust, the transfer of certain Crown land parcels to the Trust, and a Noongar role in the management of the conservation estate. In return, the Native Title Act 1993 will cease to apply in the South West and there will be a uniform strategy for the management of Aboriginal cultural heritage.

The settlement is being led by the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council and the Department of Premier and Cabinet.
 

State Council Resolution
September 2012 – 109.5/2012
September 2012 – 118.5/2012
October 2005 – 0057.COM.3/2005
June 2005 – 0057.COM.3/2005

 

3.19          Health

Position Statement
The Association supports improving health outcomes for Western Australians through the investment in and provision of infrastructure and delivery of services in partnership with health professionals.


Background
Local Governments make a significant contribution to improving, promoting and protecting the health of communities.

Through evidence based policy development and planning Local Government can create supportive environments that can help prevent a range of chronic diseases and influence the health and wellbeing of communities.

Local Government involvement in public health include:

  • Environmental health;
  • Health promotion;
  • Patient Assisted Travel Scheme;
  • Mental Health;
  • Alcohol and other drugs, and
  • Medical workforce retention in remote and rural WA.


State Council Resolution
July 2015 – 79.4/2015
March 2015 – 19.1/2015
March 2015 – 22.1/2015
December 2014 – 116.5/2014
July 2014 – 63.3/2014
May 2013 – 197.2/2013
December 2012 – 142.6/2012
September 2012 – 110.5/2012
March 2012 – 32.2/2012
March 2012 – 33.2/2012
December 2011 – 144.7/2011
October 2011 – 128.5/2011
October 2010 – 124.5/2012
October 2010 – 123.5/2010
August 2010 – 97.4/2010
June 2010 – 60.3/2010
April 2008 – 355.2/2008
October 2006 – 116.COM.5/2006
October 2006 – 114.COM.5/2006
October 2005 – 0108.COM.5/2006
October 2005 – 0107.COM.5/2005
October 2005 – 0111.COM.5/2005

 

3.19.1 Public Health Bill 2014

Position Statement
WALGA supports the introduction of the Public Health Bill 2014.
 

Background
Local Governments in Western Australia play a significant role in the protection and enhancement of health and wellbeing within their communities, through legislative controls through urban planning, investment in infrastructure and development and maintenance of environments that support healthy living. 

The Bill is intended to constitute the primary legislation that will provide the powers, functions and foundation for a risk management approach to public health for both State and Local Government.
Central to the new Act is the development of local health plans which will feed into a broader State public health plan for WA. The Department of Health is responsible for the development of the broad State plan, whilst Local Governments are responsible for the development of their individual plans.
 

State Council Resolution
March 2015 – 9.1/2015
June 2008 – 377.3/2008
April 2008 – 354.2/2008
December 2007 – 307.6/2007
December 2005 – 0159.COM.6/2005

 

3.20          Emergency Management

 

Local Governments in Western Australia play a significant role in emergency management. Both Commonwealth and State Government policy identify Local Government as a key player in community disaster resilience, preparedness and response. Local Governments however face a number of challenges in addressing their emergency management responsibilities, and these challenges differ greatly across the State.

 

3.20.1 Community Resilience

Position Statement
The Association advocates that the Commonwealth Government should commit to continued funding of the Natural Disaster Resilience Program (NDRP) as a fund to assist Local Governments to undertake community resilience building projects to reduce the impacts of identified natural disaster risks on communities.
 

State Council Resolution
December 2014 – 114.5/2014
July 2014 – 62.32014
July 2013 – 227.3/2013
March 2013 – 169.1/2013
March 2013 – 168.1/2013
October 2011 – 119.5/2011
February 2008 – 332.1/2008
June 2005 – 0058.COM.3/2005
 

Supporting Documents
Building Local Government Capacity in Emergency Management – Background Paper & Advocacy Strategy 2013

 

3.20.2 Disaster Mitigation

Position Statement
The Association advocates that the Commonwealth and State Governments should commit to specific funding programs to enable Local Governments to undertake essential physical mitigation programs to further reduce the exposure of communities to the impacts of natural disasters and to ensure the protection of essential community infrastructure.
 

State Council Resolution
May 2016 - 37.2/2016
May 2015 – 39.2/2015
December 2014 – 115.5/2014
July 2014 – 59.3/2014
September 2013 – 253.4/2013
September 2013 – 250.4/2013
July 2013 – 219.3/2013
July 2013 – 227.3/2013
July 2013 – 226.3/2013
March 2013 – 169.1/2013
December 2012 – 129.6/2012
September 2012 – 112.5/2012
September 2012 – 111.5/2012
July 2012 – 88.4/2012
December 2011 – 156.7/2011
December 2011 – 155.7/2011
December 2011 – 154.7/2011
October 2011 – 119.5/2011
February 2011 – 12.1/2011
October 2010 – 122.5/2010
August 2009 – 550.4/2009
February 2008 – 341.1/2008
August 2007 – 250.4/2007
February 2007 – 168.1/2007
February 2007 – 180.1/2007
October 2006 – 115.COM.5/2006
October 2006 – 113.COM.5/2006
March 2006 – 015.COM.1/2006

 

3.20.3 Emergency Services Levy

Position Statement
The Association advocates for full review of the Emergency Services Levy, its administration, fee structure and distribution mechanism to facilitate funding back to Local Government to support their Emergency Management responsibilities as legislated in the Emergency Management Act 2005.
 

Background
In Western Australia, Local Governments responsibilities in regard to emergency management are outlined in the Emergency Management Act 2005 (EM Act), the Emergency Management Regulations 2006, and the Bush Fires Act 1954 (BF Act).
 

State Council Resolution
July 2014 – 59.3/2014
July 2013 – 219.3/2013



 

3.21          Citizenship

Position Statement
The Association supports those Local Governments who choose to confer citizenship on new citizens in accordance with the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code (2011) and advocates to the State and Commonwealth Government for additional resources where required to support growth area needs.


Background
Citizenship ceremonies are seen as an important part of Council business. Local Government is generally considered to be the principal means of conferral of Australian citizenship in accordance with the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code (2011).

Citizenship ceremonies provide councils with an opportunity to welcome new citizens as formal members of the Australian community and in particular as members of their local community.


State Council Resolution
May 2014 – 34.2/2014
August 2009 – 551.4/2009
Supporting Documents
Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code (2011)

 

3.22          Disability

Position Statement
The Local Government sector is committed to creating inclusive communities by people with disabilities have the same opportunities as other community members to access information, facilities and services provided by Council.
 

Background
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) is leading the national disability reform across Australia. The Association supports the National Insurance Disability Scheme.

In Western Australia, the Disability Services Act 1993 (amended in 2004) requires State and Local Government agencies to develop and implement Disability Access and Inclusion Plans (DAIPs). These plans benefit people with disability, the elderly, young parents and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. DAIPs assist Local Government to plan and implement improvements to access and inclusion across seven outcome areas.
 

State Council Resolution
July 2015 – 78.4/2015
March 2012 – 31.2/2012
October 2011 – 126.5/2011
 

Supporting Documents
Count Me In: Disability Future Directions Plan

 

3.23          Crime Prevention

Position Statement
The Association supports Local Government initiatives that contribute to effective community safety and crime prevention outcomes in their communities. WALGA State Council supports the Tough on Graffiti Strategy 2011-2015, WA Police Crime Prevention Strategy 2011-2015, and State Community Crime Prevention Plan 2011-2014.
 

Background
Local Government are actively involved in crime prevention and supporting community safety outcomes, including the provision and maintenance of CCTV, graffiti management, road safety, community security patrols, and education programmes.
 

State Council Resolution
December 2015 – 123.7/2015
May 2015 – 49.2/2015
May 2014 – 35.2/2014
May 2012 – 62.3/2012
October 2011 – 115.5/2011
December 2011 – 145.7/2011
October 2007 – 275.5/2007
February 2008 – 328.1/2008
June 2008 – 390.3/2008
August 2008 – 407.4/2008
August 2008 – 406.4/2008
April 2009 – 506.2/2009
June 2009 – 523.3/2009
October 2005 – 0109.COM.5/2005
December 2005 – 161.COM.6/2005


Supporting Documents
West Australian State CCTV Strategy
MOU Between WA Police and WALGA  for the Provision of Crime Statistical Information
Tough on Graffiti Strategy 2011-2015
WA Police Crime Prevention Strategy 2011-2015
State Community Crime Prevention Plan 2011-2014

 
 

3.24          Children and Young People

Position Statement
The Local Government sector supports the development and well-being of children and young people through a combination of services and facility provision.  The Association advocates that the State and Commonwealth should continue to invest in the wellbeing of young West Australians.
 

Background
WALGA continues to advocate for the establishment of an Office of Early Childhood to address the lack of coordination and collaboration in early childhood services in Western Australia.
 

State Council Resolution
March 2014 – 7.1/2014
March 2012 – 35.2/2012

 

3.25          Investing in Communities

 
The Association supports Local Government initiatives and infrastructure that contribute to health and wellbeing of the community.
 

3.25.1 Community Infrastructure

Position Statement
The Association continues to advocate for better planning and support for community infrastructure and investment by the State, Commonwealth and private partners.


Background
Equitable long term funding arrangements for maintenance and renewal of regional facilities are required to ensure that this infrastructure is sustainable.

This community infrastructure includes (but is not limited to):

  • Community pools;
  • Sport and recreation facilities;
  • Community Resource Centres;
  • Visitor Servicing Centres;
  • Child Health Centres;
  • Community Centres;
  • Parks;
  • Playgrounds and skate parks, and
  • Public libraries.


State Council Resolution 
March 2014 – 17.1/2014
March 2014 – 16.1/2014
May 2014 – 36.2/2014
March 2013 – 176.1/2013
December 2012 – 141.6/2012
March 2012 – 36.2/2012
February 2011 – 20.1/2011
June 2010 – 62.3/2010
December 2009 – 611.6/2009
February 2008 – 329.1/2008
February 2007 – 165.1/2007
April 2007 – 194.2/2007
June 2005 – 0059.COM.3/2005
June 2006 – 064.COM.3/2006


Supporting Documents
Swimming Pool Revitalisation Program
Active Living WA Framework
Department of Sport and Recreation Strategic Directions 5 CSRFF Fund

 

3.25.2 State Trail Bike Strategy

Position Statement 
The Local Government sector advocates for changes to the current management of unlicensed trail bikes due to their adverse impact on the environmental and community amenity, in line with the WA State Trail Bike Strategy 2007. 


Background
Western Australia is currently the only State in Australia with public areas that may be legally used by unlicensed riders and vehicles.

In July 2008 The State Trail Bike Strategy, ‘Back on Track’ was developed for the State Government.

Two key recommendations that the Association advocates for include the establishment of a Ministerial Taskforce and that Off Road Vehicle (ORV) licensing should be made compulsory.


State Council Resolution
April 2008 – 360.2/2008
Supporting Documents
State Trail Bike Strategy

3.26          Public Libraries

Position Statement
WALGA supports the provision of Public Library services in Western Australia through a formal partnership between Local Government and the State Government of Western Australia governed by the Library Board Act 1951.


Background
Public libraries are seen as primary points of access for an extensive and diverse range of current information, meeting the business, recreational, cultural and lifelong learning needs of members of the community, no matter their economic or social status, cultural or language background, level of ability or geographic location.

The provision of public library services in Western Australia is governed through formal agreements between State and Local Government, established in the 1950s and formalised through an overarching partnership Agreement titled Framework Agreement between State and Local Government for the Provision of Public Library Services in Western Australia 2010-2014.


State Council Resolution
May 2015 – 48.2/2015
May 2014 – 37.2/2014
December 2013 – 272.5/2013
March 2012 – 43.2/2012
March 2012 – 34.2/2012
October 2011 – 114.5/2011
October 2011 – 127.5/2011
June 2010 – 63.3/2012
December 2009 – 608.6/2009
December 2009 – 594.6/2009
October 2009 – 577.5/2009
August 2009 – 554.4/2009
April 2009 – 499.2/2009
October 2008 431.5/2008
June 2008 – 378.3/2008
April 2008 – 361.2/2008
October 2007 – 285.5/2007
August 2007 – 249.4/2007
June 2007 – 237.3/2007


Supporting Documents
AEC Public Libraries 2025 Background Paper
State/Local Government Public Library Framework Agreement for the provision of public library services in Western Australia
Structural Reform of Public Libraries 2007
Exchange Report 2012

 

3.27          Tourism

Position Statement
Local Government recognises the value and contribution of tourism to the development of sustainable communities and is committed to working with Tourism Western Australia and Regional Development Commissions to develop Local Government tourism strategies.


Background
Local Government roles and responsibilities relevant to tourism include:

  • Planning;
  • Environmental;
  • Public health;
  • Disabilities;
  • Infrastructure and roads;
  • Local economic and community development;
  • Tourism employment;
  • Tourism promotion and marketing;
  • Arts and cultural development, and
  • Human services.
Specifically, WALGA is committed to working with Tourism Western Australia to:

i.      Develop a Local Government Tourism Strategy to deliver local tourism outcomes;
ii.     Investigate the development of resources including a destination marketing management toolkit;
iii.    Investigate tourism education and training options for Local Government;
iv.    Improve current Local Government tourism data collection including visitor numbers and visitor activities and marketing; and
v.    Identify funding opportunities for metropolitan and urban growth corridors to deliver tourism outcomes.


WALGA will engage with the Regional Development Commissions to:

i.      Advocate for funding to implement the Regional Development Commission Investment Blueprints;
ii.     Undertake a desktop audit of tourism organisations within respective Development Commissions boundaries to facilitate better strategic planning between tourism organisations and Local Government; and
iii.    Establish a centralized and coordinated network of tourism organisations.
 

State Council Resolution
September 2015 – 100.6/2015
December 2014 – 117.5/2014
June 2009 – 533.5/2009
March 2006 – 014.COM.1/2006
March 2006 – 016.COM.1/2006
March 2006 – 017.COM.1/2006


Supporting Documents
The State Government Strategy for Tourism in Western Australia 2020
Caravan Parks and Camping Grounds Act 1995
Tourism and Role of Local Government Discussion Paper
Western Australian Tourism Commission Act 1983
Local Government and Tourism Discussion Paper

 

3.28          Volunteerism

Position Statement
WALGA supports volunteerism and the positive contribution provided to the Local Government sector and the WA community.


Background
Volunteering contributes to social capital and community sustainability. Local Governments engage volunteers to support a range of services to the community including (but not limited to):

  • Home and community care;
  • Public libraries;
  • Visitor guides;
  • Bushfire and emergency management services, and
  • Youth programs.


State Council Resolution
May 2015 – 50.2/2015

Supporting Documents
The Economic, Social and Cultural Value of Volunteering to Western Australia

 

4    Environment & Waste

Key issues associated with the natural environment and waste and recycling, including climate change, biosecurity, water resource management, biodiversity conservation, waste management, recycling and landfill reduction.

 

4.1   Climate Change

Position Statement
Local Government acknowledges that:

  • Anthropogenic climate change is occurring, and is committed to preventing it;
  • Action should be immediate;
  • Australia has an obligation to act. Local Government supports this by being committed to meeting obligations set by the other tiers of government;
  • Mitigation and adaptation is interdisciplinary. Local Government will support its stakeholders (community and business) to transition towards sustainable lifestyles, but must be adequately resourced from the Australian Government to do so;
  • Mitigation and adaptation strategies must be equitable, locally, nationally and internationally;
  • Local Governments will individually determine their priorities and targets, but acknowledge that climate change must be addressed at all levels of their own operations, and
  • asserts that funds from Commonwealth or State NRM programs should be made available to assist Local Government NRM activities.


State Council Resolution
June 2009 – 521.3/2009


Supporting Documents
Policy Statement on Climate Change 2009 
 

4.2   Natural Resource Management

Position Statement
Local Government:

  • Defines sustainable natural resource management (NRM) as increasing the environment’s capacity to respond to extreme natural events;
  • Recognises that degradation of natural resources on land managed by Local Government is a serious threat to community lifestyle, livelihoods, health and well-being;
  • Committed to fostering partnerships with stakeholders, including other Local Governments, to deliver sustainable NRM;
  • Asserts that a clear framework for NRM in Western Australia must be developed to specify stakeholder roles and responsibilities;
  • Supports genuine consultation with the State and Commonwealth Governments and is committed to participating in NRM decision making;
  • Supports innovation to achieve sustainable NRM, and
  • Is committed to enhancing and applying its statutory powers, using a partnership approach, to address NRM priorities at a local, regional, and state level.


State Council Resolution 
February 2009 – 484.1/2009


Supporting Documents
Policy Statement on Natural Resource Management

 

4.3   Water Management

Position Statement
Local Government:

  • Asserts that water for public open space should be secured in all water allocation plans, and that future community growth must be considered in allocation plans;
  • Asserts that water for public open space should be excluded from any water trading regime;
  • Acknowledges irrigation of public open space should be water efficient and Local Governments should continue to invest in water efficiency technologies;
  • Asserts that water availability for public open spaces should be given a greater priority when planning for new development, and
  • Asserts that State Government, in collaboration with all stakeholders, undertake an extensive review of public open space in Western Australia and commit to further investment in this area.


State Council Resolution
December 2010 – 141.6/2010


Supporting Documents
Policy Statement on Water for Public Open Space
Policy Statement on Climate Change 2009.

 

4.4   Public open space

Position Statement
Local Government:

  • Acknowledges that public open space is fundamental to lifestyle wellbeing, mental and physical health. and
  • Asserts that new developments should have a minimum of 10 percent public open space, characterised by a combination of active, passive, regional, local areas, landscaping and natural bushland.


State Council Resolution
December 2010 – 141.6/2010


Supporting Documents
Policy Statement on Water for Public Open Space
Policy Statement on Climate Change 2009.

 

4.5   Waste Management Legislation

Position Statement
Local Government supports waste management legislation that references the principles of Sustainability and the Waste Hierarchy. To be effective, waste management legislation should include the following primary objectives:

  1. Protection of human health and the natural environment;
  2. Minimise resource consumption;
  3. Minimise waste; and
  4. Effect the transition to a waste free society.


Background  
Waste management is a significant activity for Local Government and has implications for human health and the environment.

The Policy Statement on Waste Management Legislation was developed to clearly articulate Local Government views on what should be included in any new legislation. It was successfully used to inform WALGA’s advocacy during the development of the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2007, which consolidated existing provisions and laid the foundation for a new waste management framework. 


State Council Resolution
August 2004 – WAS0115/BR


Supporting Documents
Waste Management Legislation Policy Statement (2004)

 

4.6   State Waste Strategy

Position Statement
Local Government requires leadership and clear direction from the State Government in relation to waste management. As such, Local Government supports the development and implementation of a comprehensive State Waste Strategy which:

  1. Is consistent with the content, purpose and objective of existing legislation and policy at both a state and national level;
  2. Clearly identifies the roles and responsibilities of the Waste Authority in regard to the development and implementation of the Strategy, as outlined in the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2007;
  3. Is reviewed, with Stakeholder input, within 2 years of implementation; and
  4. Includes achievable targets for all waste streams and focuses on waste reduction, resource recovery and the diversion of waste from landfill. Targets should be based on accurate baseline data and clearly identify roles, responsibilities and funding for each target area.


Background
The introduction of the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2007 established a legislative requirement for a Waste Strategy to be developed. The first Waste Strategy subject to this requirement was released in March 2012. WALGA advocated strongly during the development of the Strategy and was successful in achieving realistic targets for Local Government recovery.


State Council Resolution
February 2010 – 11.1/2010


Supporting Documents
Waste Management Legislation Policy Statement (2004)
WALGA Submission to the Waste Authority on Draft I of the Waste Strategy for Western Australia (2009)
WALGA Submission to the Waste Authority on Draft II of the Waste Strategy for Western Australia (2010)

 

4.7   Waste Authority

Position Statement
Local Government considers that an independent and effective Waste Authority is required. The role of the Waste Authority should be of a collaborative, facilitative and strategic nature. Specific activities should include:

  • Developing, administering, monitoring and reviewing the State Waste Strategy;
  • Developing a Priority Waste List (for Extended Producer Responsibility) as required in the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2007; and
  • Developing and implementing an annual Business Plan that delivers the objectives of the Waste Strategy.


Background  
The Waste Authority is a statutory body that was established in 2008 under the auspices of the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2007. This was a significant achievement for Local Government, as previous state government waste advisory groups were non-statutory in nature.


State Council Resolution
August 2004 – WAS0115/BR


Supporting Documents
Waste Management Legislation Policy Statement (2004)

 

4.8   Waste Management Funding

Position Statement
Local Government considers that:

  1. Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Levy funds should be hypothecated to strategic waste management activities in line with the State Waste Strategy and strongly opposes the application of the Levy to non-waste management related activities, such as funding State Government core activities; and
  2. The Levy should not be applied to licensed landfills outside the metropolitan area.


Background 
The Landfill Levy is established by the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Levy Act 2007. The current Levy is applied at $12/cubic metre to inert waste and $28/tonne to putrescible waste generated in, or disposed of, in the metropolitan area. The Levy was originally intended to fund strategic waste management activities. In 2009, the Act was amended to allow the levy funds to be used to support the core activities of the Department of Environment and Conservation. Currently, only 25% of the collected funds are retained for strategic waste management activities.


State Council Resolution
October 2011 – 125.5/2011
June 2011 – 74.3/2011


Supporting Documents
Waste Levy and Strategic Waste Funding Policy Statement (2008)
Discussion Paper: Local Government Waste Management Funding (2011)
Waste Management Funding Principles for Local Government (2011)

 

4.9   Waste Management Data Collection

Position Statement
Local Government asserts that the State and Federal Governments have a role in compiling and publishing waste management data centrally, as well as providing support to Local Governments in collecting data.
 

Background
Local Government acknowledges the importance of using consistent data as a tool to make evidence-based decisions. However, there are constraints for Local Governments in collecting waste data in terms of capacity and data availability, which has meant that accurate waste management data is not always readily available.

WALGA developed the Data and Information Management Policy Statement to assist the sector in identifying when data should be collected and various uses. The Policy Statement was also used by WALGA in contributing to the development of the Department of Environment and Conservation’s waste data collection program, which aims to assist Local Governments in meeting their reporting responsibilities.


State Council Resolution
June 2010 – 61.3/2010


Supporting Documents
Data and Information Management Policy Statement (2010)
Background Paper: Policy Statement on Waste Management Data and Information Management (2010)

 

4.10          Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)

Position Statement
Local Government supports the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility, as a mechanism for ensuring manufacturers of products take responsibility (be that physical or financial) for the entire lifecycle impact of their products. By placing greater responsibility on producers, Extended Producer Responsibility can potentially improve valuation, pricing and incentive mechanisms, as well as encourage greater investment in infrastructure, research and development.
 

Background
Local Government has identified that the following products should be considered for EPR Schemes:

  1. Tyres;
  2. Electronic Waste;
  3. Beverage Containers;
  4. Mattresses; and
  5. Household Hazardous Waste.

Local Government has historically been responsible for managing much of the products consumed by society. Unfortunately, a rapidly changing waste stream has turned the process of managing end-of-life products into an expensive and complicated activity for Local Governments. The concept of Extended Producer Responsibility is important to Local Governments, as it has the ability to redistribute the responsibility for an end-of-life product from Local Governments, onto others in a product’s supply chain. As such, WALGA is a strong advocate for a range of Extended Producer Responsibility Schemes. Examples of such Schemes, include the South Australian Container Deposit Legislation, and drumMUSTER.


State Council Resolution
December 2008 – 455.6/2008
August 2008 – 404.4/2008


Supporting Documents
Extended Producer Responsibility Policy Statement (2008)
Position Paper: Priority Products for Product Stewardship/Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Schemes (2008)
Report on Local Government Priority Products for Product Stewardship/ EPR Schemes (2012)

 

4.11          Container Deposit Systems (CDS)

Position Statement
Local Government supports the immediate introduction of a Container Deposit Scheme in Western Australia.
 

Background
The benefits of such a Scheme include: increased resource recovery, a reduction in litter, a more appropriate distribution of waste management costs, and an increase in community awareness and involvement in waste management. Local Government prefers that a nationally consistent Scheme is introduced, but only if this can occur in a timely manner. Container Deposit Legislation has successfully operated in South Australia since the late 1970’s. South Australia now has the highest recycling rates for beverage containers in Australia, at over 80%.
 

State Council Resolution
August 2008 – 404.4/2008
 

Supporting Documents
Container Deposit Systems Policy Statement (2008)
Extended Producer Responsibility Policy Statement (2008)

 

4.12          Waste Management Infrastructure

Position Statement 
Local Governments and Regional Councils face a number of challenges when developing and operating waste management infrastructure; most notably, the funding and planning of these facilities.

Additionally, both the Metropolitan and Non-Metropolitan areas have particular local issues that can impact on waste management activities that need to be considered.
 

Background
The term ‘waste management infrastructure’ is applied to the infrastructure needed in order to carry out waste management activities. For example, landfills, transfer stations, material recovery facilities, resource recovery facilities, alternative waste treatment facilities and green-waste reprocessing facilities.

The infrastructure required to process Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) in WA is largely coordinated by Local Governments and Regional Councils and was traditionally focused on landfill. In recent years there have been a number of drivers to pursue alternatives to landfill, such as an increasing population and direction from the State Government not to approve “any new landfill sites on the coastal sand plain because of their potential to pollute groundwater” (Select Committee on Recycling and Waste Management Final Report (1995, p. 2)).


State Council Resolution
June 2011 – 74.3/2011
August 2009 – 561.4/2009


Supporting Documents
Background Paper on Local Government Waste Management Infrastructure (2011)
Discussion Paper: Alternative Waste Treatment (AWT) Technology (2009)

 

4.13          Waste Management Education

Position Statement
Local Government asserts that the different spheres of government have different roles and responsibilities in relation to waste education: Local Government’s role is primarily concerned with ‘behavioural change’, whereas State and Federal Governments have a strategic role that focuses on ‘attitudinal change’.


Background
In the past, there has been a great deal of confusion as to the role of Local, State and Federal Governments in waste education. This confusion resulted in the communication of conflicting messages to the community. The Waste Management Education Policy Statement was developed in order to clearly articulate these roles. 

The role of Local Government is to inform and engage the community in relation to waste management services and to lead by example.  The role of State and Federal Governments is to focus on increasing community awareness of the benefits of waste avoidance and resource recovery activities, to lead by example and provide funding support to Local Government.


State Council Resolution
February 2009 – 489.1/2009
 

Supporting Documents
Waste Management Education Policy Statement (2008)
Waste Management Consultation and Communication Policy Statement (2008)

 

4.14          Applying Recycled Organics to Land

Position Statement
Local Government:

  1. Acknowledges the benefits of applying recycled organics to land,  especially as a means of diverting organic material from landfill; and,
  2. Supports the development of standards for applying recycled organics to land, to ensure a fit for purpose product is developed.


State Council Resolution
December 2007 – 306.6/2007


Supporting Documents
Standards for Recycled Organics Applied to Land Policy Statement and Background Paper (2007)
Background Paper: Policy Statement on Standards for Recycled Organics Applied to Land (2007)

 
 

4.15          Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)

Position Statement 
Local Government:

  1. Acknowledges the importance of a state based collection system for Household Hazardous Waste;
  2. Considers that the EPR approach should be applied to this waste stream; and,
  3. Acknowledges there is a need for the principle of waste minimisation to be applied to the management of this waste stream in the future (with regard to the Waste Management Hierarchy).


State Council Resolution
December 2003 – WAS043/BFR


Supporting Documents
Extended Producer Responsibility Policy Statement (2008)
Household Hazardous Waste Policy Statement (2003)
Report on Local Government Priority Products for Product Stewardship/ EPR Schemes (2012)

 
 

4.16          Biosecurity

Position Statement 
Local Government believes that State Government has responsibility for the following parts of a biosecurity system:

  • Pre-border and border biosecurity measures and contingency funds to deal with new pest outbreaks;
  • Assistance to private sector for newly established, industry-specific pests (provision is included within the BAM Bill for the industry to establish funding schemes for response to pest incursions and compensate producers for losses from pest control);
  • Assistance to land managers for newly established pests (where the incursion has occurred despite the land owner’s best biosecurity management effort)
  • Establishment of a biosecurity services network to facilitate and coordinate implementation of operational plans (mainly for established pests);
  • The ongoing support of the biosecurity network and regional cooperative arrangements;
  • Enforcement of regulations;
  • Compliance with regulations on State Government managed land.
  • Specific research projects and specialised diagnostic services; and
  • Enhancement of barrier fences.

Local Government are supportive in-principle of Recognised Biosecurity Groups (RBG) being formed as part of the six regional NRM groups. This would require the RBGs to:

  • Understand how state-wide priorities apply to their region;
  • Have a biosecurity objective, rather than a specific industry or environmental focus;
  • Have strategic and operational plans which can be understood by landowners and local governments;
  • Have direct contact to Local Governments, State Government, major industry groups; and
  • Be resourced by State Government to undertake their activities


Background
For over two decades there has been a continual decline in post border management of invasive species by the State Government lead agency (DAFWA).  The policy to move to a more regional and community based approach (e.g. Recognised Biosecurity Groups) since the gazetting of the Biosecurity and Agricultural Management Act (2007) has been poorly developed and implemented by the State, as noted by the Auditor General report of December 2013.  There remains a high level of uncertainty as to how Western Australia will manage established and future incursions of invasive species.


State Council Resolution
July 2015 – 70.4/2015
January 2006 – 023.ENV.1/2006
January 2006 – 046.ENV.2/2006


Supporting Documents
Local Government Biosecurity Issues and Opportunities Paper
Submission to the Draft State Biosecurity Strategy


 

5    Infrastructure

Key issues associated with roads, road funding, cycling infrastructure and policy, pedestrian facilities, air services and airports and road safety.
 

5.1   Land Freight

 

5.1.1   Freight on rail

Position Statement 
The Association supports keeping grain freight (Tier 3) rail lines open.
 

Background
Up to 1,000km of grain freight rail lines in the State’s agricultural region face the threat of closure. Rail closure has the potential to shift the grain freight task from rail to roads, leading to increased heavy haulage vehicles on the road network and the potential compromise of road safety. WALGA supports keeping the central wheatbelt Tier 3 rail lines open.
 

State Council Resolution
September 2012 – 107.5/2012
April 2011 – 40.2/2011
April 2010 – 34.2/2010
August 2009 – 549.4/2009
August 2007 – 247.4/2007

 

5.1.2   Recovery of heavy vehicle costs

Position Statement
The Association supports the recovery of costs to upgrade and maintain local roads to meet the increased grain freight task if the grain freight rail is closed.


Background
Most Local Governments, particularly those outside of the major urban areas, do not have sufficient money to allocate to the maintenance and renewal of the local road network to maintain the asset in its current condition. The gap between actual expenditure and that required to maintain the asset has grown over time.

This is partly due to increasing expenditure on capital upgrade and expansion of the road network to meet the growing transport task and partly because the cost of maintaining the road network is increasing at a faster rate than road funding. There is also extensive utilisation of concessional mass loading arrangements, enabling transport operators to utilise greater axle weights. Local Government should have access to the revenue generated from heavy vehicle pricing.


State Council Resolution
September 2012 – 107.5/2012
March 2012 – 42.2/2012
April 2011 – 40.2/2011
February 2011 – 17.1/2011
April 2010 – 34.2/2010
October 2008 – 432.5/2008
August 2007 – 247.4/2007
December 2006 – 144.6/2006

 

5.1.3   Defined heavy vehicle network

Position Statement 
The Association supports a defined network of preferred routes for heavy vehicles.


Background
In response to the findings of the Strategic Grain Network Review Report the Local Government Grain Infrastructure Group engaged with individuals and groups of Local Governments to determine their preferred heavy vehicle routes. A map was developed highlighting these strategic routes.


State Council Resolution
April 2011 – 40.2/2011
February 2011 – 17.1/2011
December 2010 – 138.6/2010

 

5.1.4   Concessional Mass Loading         

Position Statement 
The Association support the enabling of a concessional mass loading scheme of up to 10 percent for grain, from paddock to grain receival points, with penalties for non-compliance in order to support rural agricultural communities.


Background
A mass concessional loading scheme for grain will accelerate damage to the road network; and Feedback was sought from Local Government on their support for a mass concessional loading scheme for grain.


State Council Resolution
October 2008 – 432.5/2008

 

5.1.5   Performance Based Standards (PBS)

Position Statement 
The Association supports Main Roads WA’s application of national agreed Performance Based Standards and route classification based on the existing Restricted Access Vehicles network assessment.


Background
Main Road WA Heavy Vehicle Operations Branch implements Performance Based Standards for restricted access vehicles. PBS means that a vehicle which meets, or betters all of the criteria of a comparable truck or permit heavy vehicle, should be allowed the same access to the road network as the comparable truck. Main Roads WA is responsible to assess performance based vehicles for how they actually perform on the road network, including stability, safety, road wear and bridge loading.


State Council Resolution
December 2008 – 462.6/2008

 

5.1.6   Heavy Vehicle Road User Pricing

Position Statement 
The Association supports heavy vehicle road user pricing which is efficiently simple, generates a sustainable funding stream to maintain service standards of the road network and provides incentives for road transport operators to utilise the lowest cost supply chain.
 

Background
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) established the COAG Road Reform Plan (CRRP) in 2007, with the objective of bringing about more efficient investment in, and use of land transport infrastructure to meet the growing freight task and to maximize economic growth. CRRP have identified three priority areas for road reform:

  • Pricing, to provide incentives to heavy vehicle operators to use the road network more efficiently;
  • Funding, to overcome the ‘disconnect’ between heavy vehicle road charges and future road spending; and
  • Incentives to the arrangements for provision of road infrastructure so as to provide infrastructure services more efficiently.

WALGA prepared a submission on the COAG Road Reform Plan Feasibility Study and Local Government Consultation Paper.  This submission identifies that from a Western Australian Local Government perspective any proposed reforms to heavy vehicle road user charges should be:

  • Efficiently simple, ensuring that the cost of increased complexity above a fuel based system does not outweigh the benefits;
  • Generate a sustainable funding stream commensurate with the funding needs of the road network required to meet the efficient service standards of the transport industry;
  • Provide incentives for road transport operators to utilise the lowest cost supply chain, which may not be the lowest price option where public subsidies and externalities are not considered;
  • Ensure competitive neutrality between transport modes (road and rail);
  • Address the impacts on communities and industries if and where a move to road user charging based on marginal cost recovery leads to major freight price adjustments; and
  • Provide tools and resources for Local Government to determine appropriate service standards and plan to maximise return on investment.


State Council Resolution 
September 2013 – 249.4/2013
June 2011 – 65.3/2011
 

Supporting Documents
National Heavy Vehicle Road User Pricing and Road Funding Reform Interim Submission

 

5.2   Roads, road safety

 

5.2.1   Environmental Protection Act – Impact on Road Reserves

Position Statement
The Association supports continued advocacy to minimise the impact on road reserves and in regards to Regulations, processing times, access to vegetation data and a Code of Practice on maintenance activities.
 

Background
The passage of the Environmental Protection Act Amendment Bill 2003 has been previously reported on in relation to the environmental impact of the legislation. Concerns were subsequently raised by Local Governments regarding the requirement for Councils to prepare and submit vegetation management plans and obtain permits for construction and maintenance activities within road reserves.

A number of issues to minimise the impact of the regulations on road managers on behalf of Local Governments were pursued by the Association. The Regulations for Part 9 of the Environment Protection Amendment Bill 2003 have now been gazetted.
 

State Council Resolution
August 2004 – ENV305/DJT 

 

5.2.2   Land Clearing in Road Reserves

Position Statement 
The Association supports Schedule 2 of the Environmental Protection (Clearing of Native Vegetation) Regulations 2004 as a permanent exemption for the maintenance of existing transport corridors and supports the continued advocacy for improvements to processing and timelines of the current clearing legislation.
 

Background
Schedule 2 of the Environmental Protection (Clearing of Native Vegetation) Regulations 2004 providing an exemption from permits for clearing for the maintenance of existing transport corridors was due to expire on 7 July 2006.The Association worked with the Maintenance of Existing Transport Corridors Working Group to have Schedule 2 become a permanent exemption.
 

State Council Resolution
June 2006 – 079.TRN.3/2006

 

5.2.3   Default Open Speed Limit in WA

Position Statement 
Local Government supports the retention of WA’s Default Open Speed Limit at 110km per hour and opposes any proposed reduction to 100km per hour.
 

Background
The Road Safety Council’s Speed Management Taskforce undertook a review of WA’s default open speed limit in August 2002. The Discussion Paper for the review was finalised and considered by the Speed Management Taskforce.

The review recommended a reduction in WA’s default open speed limit from 110km to 100km. The majority (72%) of Councils consulted during the review supported the retention of the 110km default open speed limit.
 

State Council Resolution
June 2005 – 0072.TRN.3/2005

 

5.2.4   Seat Belt Legislation

Position Statement 
Local Government supports the alignment of Western Australian seat belt legislation with other Australian States to ensure an additional responsibility is placed on the driver ensuring passengers 16 years of age or older are restrained, similarly to unrestrained children (under 16 years of age).


Background
The WA seatbelt   legislation allows for more occupants than seatbelts fitted to travel in a vehicle, with the exception of a child under 12 months old. During 2006 the Australian Transport Council (ATC) approved the proposed amendments to Australian Road Rules placing an additional responsibility on the driver to ensure passengers 16 years of age or older are restrained. The WA Government voted against the proposed amendments because of concerns that disadvantaged people could not afford to buy a new motor vehicle if they had a large number of passengers to carry. The Kimberley Country Zone noted concern in relation to the current WA seatbelt legislation.


State Council Resolution
October 2008 – 4.33.5/2008

 
 

5.2.5   The Role of Local Government in the Future Management of Warden Controlled Children’s Crossings

Position Statement 
The Association:

  • Opposes the concept of transferring oversight of warden controlled children’s crossing away from the WA Police Service;
  • Recommends the core responsibility for this important road and traffic safety issue should be allocated to one State Government agency, preferably the WA Police Service; and
  • Supports the continued assistance through the areas for which it has responsibility and expertise.


Background 
On 16 October 2008 the then Minister for Police, Emergency Services, and Road Safety (the Minister) Hon Rob Johnson MLA met with WALGA President, Deputy President and Senior staff members.

The Minister invited WA Local Governments to consider what role they could play in the future management of warden controlled children crossings throughout Western Australia. The Minister assured WALGA that funding would be provided should responsibility for children’s crossings be transferred to Local Government. Feedback was sought from WA Local Governments on what is an appropriate role for Local Government in the future management of warden controlled children’s crossings throughout Western Australia.


State Council Resolution
February 2009 – 481.1/2009

 

5.2.6   Speed Enforcement

Position Statement 
Local Government supports the provision of monthly vehicle travel speed data to WA Police to inform road policing strategies.


Background
On behalf of WALGA, the Curtin-Monash Accident Research Centre undertook a feasibility study to determine the current and future role of Local Government in the enforcement of speed limits and the broader relationship between Local Government and other speed management and enforcement stakeholders.

After extensive consultation with the Local Government sector and road safety stakeholders, a model was supported to form a partnership to formally transfer monthly travel speed data from Local Governments to the WA Police to inform road policing strategies. The partnership will have resource implications for Local Government relating to either maintaining or expanding vehicle traffic count data programs, and committing to other obligations associated with the partnership. There is no obligation for a Local Government to participate in the partnership.


State Council Resolution
October 2011 – 113.5/2011


Supporting Documents
Local Government Enhanced Speed Enforcement Management Project – Executive Summary, Final Report (RR 10-002)

 

5.2.7   Towards Zero Road Safety Strategy

Position Statement
The Association supports the Towards Zero Road Safety Strategy 2008-2020 with respect to:

  1. Safe road use (behaviour);
  2. Safe roads and roadsides, subject to the allocation of resources to support the delivery of these initiatives on the local road network;
  3. Safe speeds – the Association opposes the introduction of blanket speed reductions and supports targeted speed reductions for road safety, in consultation with Local Governments;
  4. Safe vehicles; and
  5. Additional research and evaluation projects for each of the above.


Background
The road safety strategy was titled Towards Zero to reflect the long term vision of the Road Safety Council – a road system where death and serious injury are virtually eliminated.

The new strategy is designed to progress towards this vision through the application of the Safe System approach that has proven effective in the best performing nations (Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom). A Safe System benefits all road users and has four essential elements:

  1. Safe road use (behaviour);
  2. Safe roads and roadsides;
  3. Safe speeds, and
  4. Safe vehicles.

The Safe System approach is based on the following principles:

  1. The limits of human performance. One half of all road crashes are the result of people making a mistake. We all make mistakes and we all need to acknowledge the limits of our capabilities;
  2. The physical limits of human tolerance to violent forces. We are physically vulnerable when involved in a traffic crash, and
  3. Shared responsibility. This means all of us take an individual and shared role in road safety.
  4. A forgiving road system so that when crashes do happen, deaths can be avoided and injuries minimised.


State Council Resolution 
April 2008 – 356.2/2008

 

5.3   Public Transport, Walking and Cycling

 

5.3.1   Accessible public transport

Position Statement
The Association supports a partnership between State and Local Government to clarify respective roles and responsibilities in the provision of bus stop infrastructure and to co-ordinate infrastructure and service provision in order to provide a seamless, accessible public transport service.


Background
In providing a submission on the Review of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002, WALGA proposed a partnership approach to between State and Local Governments to define responsibilities and improve the services for the community using bus stop infrastructure.


State Council Resolution
October 2007 – 274.5/2007

 

5.3.2   Public Transport

Position Statement
Local Government supports a public transport plan for Perth that identifies and protects transport corridors, services future employment centres and activity centres identified in Directions 2031 and the connectivity of these centres, accurate transport demand forecasts for future planning and service delivery beyond 2031 and using public transport to drive urban form outcomes.


Background
The Department of Transport released the Public Transport Plan -– “Public Transport for Perth in 2031” (PTP) for comment in July 2011. The PTP is based on the metropolitan strategic land use plan “Directions 2031 and Beyond” which indicates where people will live and work in the future and has established travel patterns across the city. The Plan aims to identify the public transport network required to support Perth’s growing population, and links to and between strategic centres, while highlighting choice of transport mode.

A Metropolitan Public Transport Policy Forum comprising elected and expert members was established by the President of WALGA to provide comment and recommendations to the Public Transport Plan on behalf of Local Government.


State Council Resolution
October 2011 – 120.5/2011


Supporting Documents
Draft submission to the Department of Transport on the Public Transport Plan for Perth in 2031.

 

5.3.3   Western Australian Bicycle Network

Position Statement
Local Government supports a bicycle network which connects key activity centres identified in Directions 2031, expansion of the Principal Shared Path network to train/bus stations, shops and schools, funding provided to Local Governments for the maintenance of paths, increased funding each financial year to deliver PSP projects and provide grants to Local Governments, a quantified economic assessment of the benefits from investment and a set out funding program over time to reflect cost inflation and growth in demand.


Background
The Western Australian Bicycle Network Plan (WABNP) 2012-2021 (Draft for Consultation) was released for public comment on in March 2012. The WABNP aims to meet the growing demands for cycling by providing safe, efficient and convenient cycling routes and end of trip facilities, particularly concentrating on cycling to work.

The main focus is on constructing Principal Shared Paths along freeways and railway lines within a 15km radius of the Perth CBD. This is the first time regional cycling in key regional cities has also been included.  Other key actions include a connecting schools program, a connecting rail/bus stations program and a review of traffic management schemes on local roads.


State Council Resolution
July 2012 – 89.4/2012


Supporting Documents
Submission in response to the draft WA Bicycle Network Plan 2012-2021.

 

5.3.4   Cycling on Footpaths

Position Statement
The Association supports

  1. The amendment of regulation 216(1) of the Road Traffic Code 2000 to allow cyclists of all ages ride bicycles on footpaths subject to the implementation of an appropriate speed limit for cyclists riding on footpaths;
  2. Any change to regulation 216(1) of the Road Traffic Code 2000 is accompanied by a comprehensive public education campaign;
  3. The Association to investigate the provision of local laws for cyclists riding on footpaths in specified areas, at the discretion of a Local Government, and
  4. The Association advises the Office of Road Safety and Department of Transport in writing of key matters highlighted by the Local Government sector to be considered should the proposed amendment to the Road Traffic Code 2000 proceed.


Background
In 2003/2004 the Local Government sector was consulted on an Office of Road Safety discussion paper that recommended “consideration be given to extend the current regulations governing the use of footpaths by cyclists from children under the age of 12 years to all ages.” State Council supported the recommendation in principle subject to the implementation of an extensive public education campaign. The recommended amendment of the Road Traffic Code 2000 was not proceeded with.

In March 2015 the Premier and Minister for Road Safety hosted a Cycling Safety Roundtable workshop where allowing cyclists of all ages to ride on footpaths as an initiative to reduce cyclist deaths and serious injuries was discussed. In response, WALGA developed a “Cycling on Footpaths” discussion paper to assist Local Governments consider the implications of amending the Road Traffic Code 2000; and surveyed the sector for their feedback. Twelve Local Governments responded to the survey – 11 agreed with amending the Road Traffic Code 2000 to allow cyclists of all ages to ride on footpaths.


State Council Resolution
July 2015 – 65.4/2015
December 2004 – TRN078/DJT
April 2003 – TRN078/CT

5.3.5   Licensing cyclists and registering bicycles

Position Statement
The Association does not support a policy of licensing cyclists or a policy of registered bicycles.

Background
In 2015 WALGA produced a discussion paper "Licensing Cyclists and Registering Bicycles" in response to a resolution from the Central Metropolitan Zone.

The research determined that no Australian jurisdiction has a scheme to license cyclists or register bicycles. Worldwide, no developed economy appears to have successfully established a jurisdiction-wide mandatory cyclist licensing or bicycle registration scheme that has been able to deliver improved road user behaviour while covering administration costs.  

State Council Resolution
May 2016 - 3.5/2016

Supporting Documents
Licensing Cyclists and Registering Bicycles Discussion Paper (October 2015)  
 

5.4   WANDRRA

 

5.4.1   Funding arrangements

Position Statement
The Association supports increased support for mitigation measures, greater fiscal equity and funding for repairing of damaged infrastructure which includes appropriate trigger points for access to funding and thresholds to limit the amount liable to be paid for each eligible event.


Background
In May 2006, the Community Development and Justice Standing Committee undertook an inquiry into Western Australia’s Natural Disaster Relief Arrangements (WANDRA), with particular reference to the adequacy of State Government assistance under the program for persons affected by a natural disaster.  The Committee tabled its report on 10 May 2007 containing 14 recommendations.

The Association undertook extensive consultation with members via info pages and State Council throughout 2006 and 2007. The Association put forward a submission to the Inquiry and gave evidence in February 2007.  On 3 December 2007 State Cabinet endorsed the recommendation to create a more equitable funding system for Local Governments.


State Council Resolution
April 2011 – 46.2/2011
February 2008 – 332.1/2008
August 2007 – 250.4/2007
October 2006 – 113.COM.5/2006


Supporting Documents
Submission to the Community Development and Justice Standing Committee Inquiry into Western Australia’s Natural Disaster Relief Arrangements

 

5.4.2   Wages and Equipment Costs

Position Statement 
That WALGA, in partnership with the Australian Local Government Association, undertake advocacy to the Commonwealth to change the Emergency Management in Australia (EMA) Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA), Determination Clause 5.2.5, to enable Local Governments to recover wage and equipment costs.


Background
The Western Australia Natural Disaster and Relief and Recovery Arrangements (WANDRRA) are provided under The Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) by the Australian Government. Eligible costs under the WANDRRA include “additional” costs such as contractors, to assist with recovery activities. Ineligible costs under the WANDRRA are defined as “ordinary” costs which include Local Government staff wages and equipment, and the associated “ordinary” use of Local Government plant and equipment.

FESA has advised that Local Government claims made under the WANDRRA through Main Roads WA (MRWA) may have in the past included the recovery of ineligible costs, which in this case includes “ordinary” costs. Previously these claims, provided by MRWA from Local Governments were submitted to FESA and paid. Feedback from Local Government is that the distinction between ordinary and additional costs is inequitable – if councils use a contractor then costs can be recovered under the WANDRRA, however if they divert their own staff to undertake works it is not recoverable.


State Council Resolution
April 2011 – 46.2/2011

 

5.4.3   Betterment (resilience)

Position Statement
The Association supports increased funding for the replacement or restoration of damaged assets to a more resilient standard following an event.
 

Background
In 2007, the Commonwealth (under the NDRRA Determination) introduced the “betterment” clause which is intended to provide for the replacement of damaged assets to a more resilient level following an event.
 

State Council Resolution
February 2008 – 332.1/2008
October 2006 – 113.COM.5/2006

 

5.4.4   Planning for risk management and recovery plans

Position Statement 
The Association supports access to additional expertise to assist with assessing and planning/designing for recovery projects and designated funding to Local Government for the development of emergency risk management plans and recovery plans.
 

State Council Resolution
February 2008 – 332.1/2008
October 2006 – 113.COM.5/2006

 

5.4.5   Assessment periods

Position Statement 
The Association supports a shorter assessment period for events and immediate access to funding to commence works.


Background
Local Governments should have immediate access to funds regardless of the scale of the emergency. Over the years, WALGA is aware of the delays as well as the financial hardship Local Governments have experienced receiving reimbursement after an event.


State Council Resolution
October 2006 – 113.COM.5/2006


Supporting Documents
Submission to the Community Development and Justice Standing Committee Inquiry into Western Australia’s Natural Disaster Relief Arrangements

 

5.5   Street Lighting

Position Statement
Local Government supports the contestability of street lighting.


Background
Street lighting is not currently contestable and the government is required to review whether further competition should be introduced into the electricity market. Provision for street lighting represents a significant expenditure item for many Local Governments and one where there is little discretion, options or control available. Alternative market offerings would assist local governments seeking to utilise renewable energy and / or adopt innovative energy saving approaches.


State Council Resolution
December 2006 – 143.6/2006

 

5.6   State Underground Power Program

Position Statement
The Association supports an approach which is based on network reliability data and best practice asset management principles to determine a strategic program for undergrounding power which would allow an opportunity for the acceleration of the program where householders are willing to contribute to the additional costs.


Background
The State Underground Power Program (SUPP) involves placing Western Power’s existing overhead distribution lines in residential and commercial areas underground. Since the program was established in 1996, 65 projects providing underground power to over 70,000 properties have been delivered at a cost of $246.9 million. Since 1992 all new property developments in the area now served by Western Power have been required to include underground power. The combination of this and the SUPP means that today nearly half of Perth is serviced by underground power.

The Economic Regulation Authority was requested by the Treasurer to conduct an inquiry into the overall costs and benefits of the State Underground Power Program. WALGA’s submission highlighted the divergence in the views of member Local Governments. Some Local Governments are keen to see the benefits of improved reliability in electricity supply and enhanced streetscapes extend to their areas but have confirmed the lack of willingness (and capacity) of landowners to contribute half the cost; noting that the costs have increased significantly over time. Other Local Governments are keen to maintain or even provide increased flexibility in the landholder contribution mechanism in order to accelerate the extension of underground power.

Consequently this submission recommended that the Inquiry evaluate the benefits and costs of replacing the existing piecemeal approach to implementation of underground power infrastructure with a strategic program for undergrounding the remaining overhead power distribution network based on network reliability data and best practice asset management principles.


State Council Resolution
October 2010 – 111.5/2010


Supporting Documents
Submission to the Economic Regulation Authority Inquiry into the State Underground Power Program

 

5.7   Ports

Position Statement
The Association supports the planning and operations of Port Infrastructure be addressed through State run initiatives and processes supported by Federal funding, rather than through Federal strategies.


Background
The National Ports Strategy, released for public consultation by Infrastructure Australia and the National Transport Commission, called for long-term coordinated planning of Australia's major ports and their related transport corridors and shipping channels.

Local Government is not responsible for the management of Ports in Western Australia, but do have a substantial interest in how Port operations affect local communities beyond the Port boundaries. The objectives and priority actions identified in the draft national strategy are certainly desirable. However, it’s reasonable to question what benefits a national strategy will deliver for WA. The Western Australian ports and freight task are very different to those on the east coast of Australia, and different approaches are required.


State Council Resolution
August 2010 – 88.4/2010


Supporting Documents
National Ports Strategy Interim Submission
 
 
 
 

5.8   Bus Stop Infrastructure

Position Statement
The Association supports the Partnership Agreement between the Public Transport Authority (PTA) and Local Governments that clarifies the roles and responsibilities for the installation and maintenance of bus stop infrastructure in the Perth and Peel region.


Background
There have been on-going issues between the PTA and Local Governments regarding the roles and responsibilities for bus stop infrastructure, in particular regarding the communication processes. The Partnership Agreement seeks to provide the foundation for a more effective working relationship between the Public Transport Authority (PTA) and each Local Government as well as delivering benefit to the community.

The Agreement encompasses:

  • PTA Funding Programs and Subsidy Arrangements;
  • Roles and Responsibilities;
  • Adding, Removing, Modifying or Upgrading Bus Stop Infrastructure, and
  • Maintenance of Bus Stop Infrastructure.


State Council Resolution
March 2015 – 10.1/2015
April 2008 – 405.4/2008


Supporting Documents
Partnership Agreement Defining the Roles and Responsibilities for the Planning, Installation and Maintenance of Bus Stop Infrastructure for Local Governments in the Perth and Peel Regions, Western Australia.

 

5.9   Aviation

Position Statement
The Association supports WA’s first State Aviation Strategy with more focus required on non-RPT airports to ensure it is representative of all of WA, more focus on general aviation development across WA and noting that the preferred ownership and governance of Local Governments is Council Controlled Organisations.
 

Background
Western Australia has a strong economy and rapidly growing population that has placed increasing pressure on the State’s aviation infrastructure. The resources industry that has led economic growth in the State and nationally for the past decade has placed unprecedented demand on specific aviation services and infrastructure. 

The State Aviation Strategy was required for Western Australia to ensure aviation infrastructure meets the State’s growing needs. This includes ensuring that airport infrastructure can meet targeted levels of efficiency and appropriate customer service during peak periods. There are approximately 150 airports and airstrips owned, maintained and operated by Local Governments across regional Western Australia. Of these, there are 22 Local Government airports that serve regular passenger transport (RPT) services.


State Council Resolution
May 2013 – 275.5/2013
Supporting Documents
Submission in response to the State Aviation Strategy

 
 [1] Barnett, C (Minister for State Development) & Castrilli J (Minister for Local Government) 2011, Communities benefit from resources projects policy, media release.
[2] Ibid.