New Act

The current Local Government Act that governs Local Government operations was passed in 1995 and is past its use by date. It’s focused on tick-the-box compliance and old ways of working.

Local Governments want to focus on things the community really value, like parks, playgrounds, community facilities and events, waste collection and roads and footpaths, not on ticking boxes and unnecessary red tape.

WALGA has been working with Local Governments to develop policy for a new legislative framework that will help Local Governments to be more efficient and more effective in delivering services and infrastructure for the community.

Without a new Act, Local Governments will continue to be bogged down in compliance and red tape, and less able to focus on the needs and aspirations of the community.

The Local Government sector wants to work with the State Government to develop enabling legislation that will provide Local Governments with a clear and focused framework to serve the community’s needs.

Fairer Fees

Local Government faces a delicate balance in allocating available resources to deliver the greatest return in meeting community needs and aspirations.

This task is made more challenging because of unfair rates exemptions and some fees and charges that have been set by legislation but have not changed for years.

Inequitable rates exemptions (estimated to represent two percent of total rates revenue) and failure to recover the full cost of service delivery through fees and charges means the whole community is subsidising a few.

WALGA has been calling on the State Government to review exemptions and fees and charges for a number of years to ensure that rates and fees and charged fairly.

Without a review that addresses rates and fees inequities means that some members of the community are paying too little for the services they use, and some are paying too much.

An independent review into rate exemptions and fees and charges will ensure Local Governments have access to resources to meet the community’s needs fairly and equitably.

Working Together

Local Governments want to work together with the State Government to address a number of complex challenges facing our communities.

The Western Australian Government brings leadership and policy direction while Local Government has an on-the-ground presence in all Western Australian communities. Together, our two spheres of Government have complementary strengths which, when combined, provide the greatest benefit to Western Australia.

Local Government currently has a Partnership Agreement with the State Government and it is important that this agreement is renewed in the next term of Government.

If the agreement is not renewed, there is a risk that activities will be duplicated or not undertaken appropriately.

The proposed Partners in Government Agreement will provide a strategic framework to guide collaboration for the benefit of all Western Australian communities.

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