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Local Government Reform

The State Govt has released its response to the Local Govt Reform recommendations. Most of the Independent Review Panel’s recommendations have been picked up by the Government. There are incentives been offered to form Joint Organisations and Council have been talking with our three neighbouring Illawarra Council’s about this for some time. Council will need to demonstrate to the Government by 30/6/15 that it meets the criteria as a “Fit For the Future” Council. Council staff have commenced work on assessing our current performance KPI’s against the criteria and will continue to implement changes to meet the Governments benchmarks.

There are several papers on the Fit for the Future website that can provide further information.

There are a number of current initiatives happening in the area of 'local government reform', lead by the Minister for Local Government with the support of the local government sector. The Destination 2036 Action Plan was finalised in June 2012 and is driving review, reform and improvement activity across the sector, with two significant initiatives of the Minister planned to present reports and recommendations during 2013.

Consultation Links
Review the Local Government Review Panel Discussion Paper.
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Local Government Acts Taskforce

Local Government Acts Taskforce
The Minister for Local Government has appointed the 'LGA' Taskforce - consisting of four members - to review the Local Government Act 1993 and the City of Sydney Act 1988, as an initiative from the Destination 2036 Action Plan. This important review will assist in ensuring that NSW has the right legislative framework for strong and sustainable local government into the future.

The Taskforce started work in September 2012 and will report back to the Minister by September 2013. View the DLG Circular to Councils and Terms of Reference (PDF 58.26 kb)

Click here (new window) to go to the Taskforce webpage, where you can follow and be part of the consultation website.

The Taskforce will work closely with the Independent Local Government Review Panel to ensure that the new legislation supports and facilitates the outcomes of the Panel's work.

The Taskforce has released a Discussion Paper and is seeking community input by 28 June 2013: Local Government Acts Taskforce

Local Government Review Panel

In April 2013 the Panel released its Discussion Paper for consultation containing significant change proposals. Review this document.

Supported by the Local Government & Shires Associations of NSW, the NSW Minister for Local Government has appointed a three member Local Government Review Panel to develop options to improve the strength and effectiveness of local government in NSW. The review will drive key strategic directions identified in the Destination 2036 initiative and support the broader objectives of the State as outlined in NSW 2021: A Plan to Make NSW Number One (State Plan). The Panel's Terms of Reference and key tasks from the Destination 2036 Action Plan can be viewed at here (new window).

The Panel will investigate and identify options for governance models, structural arrangements and boundary changes for local government in NSW, considering:

  1. ability to support the current and future needs of local communities
  2. ability to deliver services and infrastructure efficiently effectively and in a timely manner
  3. the financial sustainability of each local government area
  4. ability for local representation and decision making; and
  5. barriers and incentives to encourage voluntary boundary changes.

The Panel released its first Paper titled Strengthening Your Community in July 2012: http://www.localgovernmentreview.nsw.gov.au/Index.asp?areaindex=LGR&index=49&acode=GL (new window).

The Independent Local Government Review Panel has now released a summary of submission, as a result of the Stage 1 consultation process. The Stage 1 Consultation Summary of Submissions can be found here (PDF 1.32 mb).

The Review Panel has also released its paper titled 'Better, Stronger Local Government - The Case for Sustainable Change' and is inviting responses. The paper is available at http://www.localgovernmentreview.nsw.gov.au/Information.asp?areaindex=LGR&index=102&mi=9 (new window).

Destination 2036
The Destination 2036 Action Plan was developed jointly by the Chief Executive of the Division of Local Government, and the Presidents of the NSW Local Government Association, the NSW Shires Association, and the Local Government Managers Australia (NSW). Click to view the D2036 Action Plan.

It sets a new direction for local government in NSW and sets out how councils will deliver services to their communities in the future. The Minister has said that the Destination 2036 Action Plan will give NSW residents, communities and Councils a clear explanation of how the local government sector will modernise, reform and improve how they function in the next five years, 10 years, and 25 years.

Visit the Destination 2036 website.

The initiatives identified in the Action Plan are based on five major strategic directions:

  • Efficient and effective service delivery in local government,
  • Quality governance and leadership in local government,
  • Financial sustainability in local government,
  • Appropriate, flexible structural models in local government, and
  • Strong relationships within local government.
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