Sunday, May 26, 2024

Future of LG Review interim report released

The Tasmanian Government has released an Interim Report of the state’s Future of Local Government Review, outlining the results of the Local Government Board’s engagement with the community and public sector.

Minister for Local Government, Nic Street and Local Government Board Chair, Sue Smith AM said the report also identifies the priority reform areas the Board will explore during Stage 2 of the Review.

“I want to thank all members of the Local Government Board for their work to date. The Review is a once in a generation opportunity to take stock of our system of local government and make sure it’s well set up to serve the community into the future,” said Minister Street.

He said the Review was one of several initiatives the Tasmanian Government had taken to strengthen and support the local government sector.

“One of my first acts as Minister was to introduce compulsory voting in council elections, which I hope will encourage more people to stand for council in October this year. I will shortly bring forward legislative changes to make the councillor Code of Conduct process more effective.”

“This Review is another vital initiative that will help to build community confidence in local councils. We want to ensure that councils have the professional skills and resources they need to be able to serve their communities sustainably over the long term.”

Chair Smith said the Board had heard strong support from the community for local government’s role in delivering local services, and as a voice from communities to other tiers of government.

“We’ve also heard that people believe that local government is struggling to fulfill all its responsibilities, particularly the smaller councils,” she said.

“People have told us that councils need to be big enough to be sustainable, but small enough to genuinely represent their community.

“In Stage 2 of the Review, the Board will be exploring reforms that can achieve those twin aims of making local government sustainable and truly representing each local community around the state.

“A lot of the public discussion has been about council amalgamations. The Board is thinking much more broadly than simple amalgamation, where two or more councils are crunched together.

“We are looking at all the consolidation options that people have raised with us – from agreements between councils in a region to deliver shared services through to full amalgamation of councils.

“All the options are on the table. In Stage 2 we will look at how well each of those options leads to better services being delivered to communities.”

Latest Articles