A four-day showcase 

  • Convention theme of “Local Futures” where Council and staff delegates looked to plan with their local communities for the future 

  • Convention featured an historic signing of a five-year, $1.38 billion Roads Funding Agreement between WALGA and the Department of Transport 

  • Main sessions on future planning, artificial intelligence and the implications for Local Government, diversity on Councils and the shortage of regional housing were examined, as well as transitioning to active mobility transport options to reduce congestion 

WALGA’s annual Local Government Convention this year brought together over 500 Elected Members and Local Government staff from across Western Australia to discuss and examine important issues and trends facing the sector, now and into the future.  

WA Premier the Hon. Roger Cook MLA officially opened the Convention and spoke of the strong partnerships between the State and Local Governments, while WALGA State President Karen Chappel reiterated where Councils would continue to support State policy and initiatives.  

Program favourite “The State of Play” was back, where the West Australian’s Chief Reporter Ben Harvey led a discussion with State Members of Parliament, Local Government Minister David Michael and Opposition Leader Shane Love, on the future of the Local Government sector.  

Dr Gill Hicks, a survivor of the 2005 London bombings, provided the inspirational closing address. 

Cr Rhys Williams, the Mayor of the City of Mandurah was awarded the Troy Pickard Young Achievers Awards, while Cr Stephen Strange from the Shire of Bruce Rock accepted a Life Membership Award from WALGA. 

For the first time, this year’s WALGA Convention featured an outdoor Supplier Showcase as part of the supporting program, sponsored by Synergy. 

This addition to the program provided a professional development opportunity for Local Government Staff to hear from expert speakers in the areas of Procurement, Construction, Energy and Traffic Management, and liaise with Preferred Supplier Panel members displaying a range of specialist products such as heavy-duty machinery, technology, and tools of the trade. 

The Exhibition Showcase, sponsored by Civic Legal and the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries featured 120 Suppliers and Exhibitors from the commercial sector.  

Alongside the Convention, WALGA hosted various supporting events and networking opportunities.  

This included the Mayors and Presidents Forum, Welcome Drinks and Local Government Awards, Heads of Agencies Breakfast, the WALGA Annual General Meeting, Gala Cocktail Function and Convention Breakfast with keynote speaker Michelle Payne.  

WALGA President Karen Chappel said WALGA was proud to deliver a well-rounded event to delegates and key stakeholders for another year.  

“With over 500 delegates attending this year’s Convention, the importance and significance of the event and the networking opportunities it provided for the sector was evident,” she said. “I am very pleased that 90% of all the WA Local Councils – from our Towns, Shires and Cities were represented.  

“This year’s theme, ‘Local Futures’ had a clear focus on exploring how Local Governments can enact and drive change for the benefit of their communities and the diversity of solutions that can emerge when you start local. 

“Local Government is not just the third tier of government as I often hear it described. It is “A” tier of government that works in partnership with State and Federal Government to deliver service and support communities,” said Cr Chappel.  

The WALGA Local Government Convention was held Sunday 17 September to Wednesday 20 at Crown, sponsored by LGIS, Civic Legal, the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and GovernmentFrameworks.com.  

More information can be found at https://lgc23.walga.asn.au/ 

For media interviews with WALGA President Karen Chappel email communications@walga.asn.au