The State Local Government Partnership Agreement Leadership Group held its third meeting on 16 April 2019 to discuss matters of mutual interest and to progress its strategic agenda. The meeting was chaired by the Premier, Hon Mark McGowan and attended by the Hon. Rita Saffioti, Minister for Planning, Mr Reece Whitby, Parliamentary Secretary to Minister Wyatt, President Lynn Craigie, Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA), Deputy President Tracey Roberts, WALGA, President Ian Cowie, Local Government Professionals WA (LG Professionals WA ), and executive staff.
The Premier and the Presidents of WALGA and LG Professionals WA, spoke of the shared commitment and goodwill of both levels of Government to work across a broad range of issues important to West Australians.
Acknowledgement of new WALGA Chief Executive Officer
The Premier extended his congratulations to Mr Nick Sloan on his recent appointment as WALGA Chief Executive Officer.
State Local Government Working Group
The leadership Group noted the outcomes of the recent State Local Government Working Group meeting. The Leadership Group observed that the Agreement is achieving its intent for improved consultation and communication across government.
Local Government Act 1995 Reform
The Leadership Group noted the Local Government Legislation Amendment Bill was read into the Legislative Council on Thursday, 11 April 2019. Public consultation for the development of a new Local Government Act closed on 31 March 2019. The Department of Local Government Sport and Cultural Industries is undertaking an analysis of the 3148 responses received to date. The Leadership Group acknowledged the significant interest in this reform and collaborative efforts to promote the opportunity to be involved.
Local Government Elections
Local Government elections will be held in October 2019. The Department of Local Government Sport and Cultural Industries is working closely with the WA Local Government Association and the Electoral Commission to development a suite of resources promoting all three phases of the elections – enrol, nominate and vote ahead of the October elections.
WALGA Economic Development Project
WALGA provided an update on their project to help Local Governments to understand the role they play in supporting local economic outcomes A key deliverable is the development of the Local Government Economic Development Framework. WALGA considers there are significant opportunities for the State Government and Local Governments to work more collaboratively to support local economic outcomes, consistent with the objectives of the State-Local Government Partnership Agreement. Some of the areas identified for closer collaboration include:
- Ensuring an appropriately skilled workforce to meet our future labour needs by leveraging public libraries and community resource centres;
- Investment in priority infrastructure that will improve productivity and create jobs over the longer term;
- Creating a planning system that enables appropriate development and provides certainty for future investors;
- Unlocking WA’s potential as a tourism destination; and
- Supporting local businesses to engage in Government work.
The Leadership Group welcomed the WALGA project and noted that it will be launched by Minister Templeman at a breakfast event on 7 May 2019.
Modernising Western Australia’s Planning Systems
Minister Saffioti provided an update noting 254 submissions were received in response to the independent planning reviewer’s Modernising WA’s Planning System Green Paper, including 43 from local governments across WA.
Submissions indicate a clear appetite for change to make the planning system more strategic, legible, transparent and efficient. Stakeholders also called for a more pro-active, outcomes focussed, timely and collaborative planning culture across all levels of government.
The Minister noted as an outcome of the consultation, reform initiatives are being prepared which define intent and direction to achieve the planning reform objectives. Minister Saffioti outlined her ongoing commitment to improve planning outcomes and acknowledged the local government sector will be a key partner in delivering the reform program.
The Leadership Group welcomed the planning reform process outlined and continued efforts to improve planning outcomes.
Local government representatives raised several other items for discussion including;
- the development of the State Climate Change policy,
- Waste Advocacy and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030,
- Superannuation, and collaborative efforts to introduce container deposit legislation.
The Leadership Group agreed on the following presentations for future meetings;
- WALGA Planning Improvement Program;
- LG Professionals WA CEO Wellbeing and Research project; and
- an update on Public Sector Reform.
The PLGC is next scheduled to meet in October 2019. Further information on the State Local Government Partnership Agreement is available on the DLGSC website.
State Local Government Partnership Agreement Leadership Group attendees
Tuesday, 16 April 2019, Dumas House, West Perth.
- Hon, Mark McGowan, Premier of Western Australia (Chair)
- Hon, Rita Saffioti, Minister for Transport; Planning; Lands
- Cr Lynne Craigie, President, Western Australian Local Government Association
- Mr Ian Cowie, President, Western Australian Local Government Professionals WA
Invited participants and observers
- Mr Gary Hamley, Chief of Staff, Office of the Hon. David Templeman, MLA
- Mr Duncan Ord, Director General, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries
- Mr Mike Rowe, Director General, Department of Water and Environmental and Regulation
- Mr Aron Morey, A/Chief of Staff, Office of the Hon. Ben Wyatt, MLA.
- Ms Candy Choo, Chief Executive Officer, Western Australian Local Government Professionals WA
- Mr Nick Sloan, Chief Executive Officer, Western Australian Local Government Association
- Mr Wayne Scheggia, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Western Australian Local Government Association
- Ms Jodie Holbrook, Director Local Government Policy and Engagement, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (Executive Officer)