Greater scope for shared services providing better outcomes for local communities has finally been provided to WA Local Governments with the passage of legislation through Parliament today.

The Local Government (Regional Subsidiaries) Bill enables two or more Local Governments to establish joint organisations to deliver shared services.

WA Local Government Association President Cr Lynne Craigie welcomed the Bill’s passage, stating it would allow Councils to join together to deliver services across those areas where efficiencies had been identified and noted the model was a key recommendation of the 2008 sector-endorsed Systemic Sustainability Study.

“Local Governments have long wished to engage in shared service delivery with their neighbours but were hamstrung by the burdensome administrative requirements under the previous legislation,” Cr Craigie said.

“WALGA has been advocating for this change since 2008, as shared services were identified as a significant avenue for sector reform during our research at the time.

“We can now move into exploring the opportunities this legislation will afford the sector, with possible shared services such as planning approvals processes, road maintenance and administrative systems.”

Cr Craigie said the sector was appreciative of Moore MLA Shane Love and the Nationals for reintroducing the legislation as a private members bill after previous legislation first introduced in 2012 lapsed.  She thanked the Greens and ALP for their support of Local Governments’ advocacy and Local Government Minister Tony Simpson for completing the Bill’s passage through Parliament.

“The flexibility provided by this legislation will finally allow Local Governments to better work together across a whole range of services and will serve to strengthen service delivery to local communities,” she said.

“We look forward to working with our members and the State on the accompanying regulations for the legislation and exploring where efficiency gains can be made.”