Boards and commissions

The department provides executive support to both the WA Local Government Grants Commission and the Local Government Advisory Board. 

Local Government Advisory Board

The Local Government Advisory Board is a statutory body established under the Local Government Act 1995 (the Act) to advise the Minister for Local Government on local government constitutional matters.

It has five members and four deputy members, including members nominated by local government and the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC).

The Minister appoints the chair of the board and a member from DLGSC, as well as two members from nominations supplied by the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) and one member from nominations supplied by Local Government Professionals Western Australia (LG Pro).

The board's major function is to assess proposals to change local government boundaries and their systems of representation and then make recommendations to the Minister.

Inquiries

Lower Donnelly River – Shires of Nannup and Manjimup

In May 2019, the board resolved to conduct a formal inquiry into a proposal to amend the boundary between the Shire of Nannup and the Shire of Manjimup so that 33 dwellings currently located on the Lower Donnelly River in the Shire of Nannup would be transferred to the Shire of Manjimup.

The Board conducted a public submission period from 29 June 2019 until 2 August 2019.

Outcome

The Minister endorsed the board’s recommendation to not accept the proposal submitted by the Lower Donnelly River Conservation Association (LDRCA) to amend the boundary between the Shire of Nannup and the Shire of Manjimup.

A copy of the inquiry report is available below. 

LDRCA proposal

Closed inquiries

Part of Ascot and part of Redcliffe (alternative inquiry)

In January 2017, the board resolved to conduct a formal inquiry into a proposal to amend the City of Belmont’s district boundary to include a portion of the suburb of Ascot and a portion of the suburb of Redcliffe currently located in the City of Swan.

Outcome

The minister approved the board's recommendation to accept the proposal submitted by the City of Belmont to transfer parts of Ascot and Redcliffe from the City of Swan to the City of Belmont. The proposal rationalises the boundary around three industrial lots, two of which are bisected by the current boundary with the City of Swan.

Part of Ascot and part of Redcliffe

In July 2016, the board resolved to conduct a formal inquiry into a proposal to amend the City of Swan's district boundary to include a portion of the suburb of Ascot and a portion of the suburb of Redcliffe currently located in the City of Belmont.

Outcome

The minister approved the board's recommendation to not accept the proposal submitted by the City of Swan to rationalise the boundary around three industrial lots, two of which are bisected by the current boundary.

Hamilton Hill and part of North Coogee Inquiry ("Greater Freo")

In June 2016, the board resolved to conduct a formal inquiry into a proposal to amend the City of Fremantle's district boundary to include the suburb of Hamilton Hill and a portion of the suburb of North Coogee currently located in the City of Cockburn.

Outcome

The minister approved the board's recommendation to not accept the proposal submitted by the Greater Freo community group to amend the City of Cockburn’s district boundary to transfer Hamilton Hill and part of North Coogee from the City of Cockburn to the City of Fremantle.

Wattle Grove inquiry

In October 2015, the board resolved to conduct a formal inquiry into a proposal to amend the City of Gosnells district boundary to include part of the locality of Wattle Grove currently located in the Shire of Kalamunda.

Outcome

The minister approved the board's recommendation to not accept the proposal submitted by the Wattle Grove electors' group to amend the area bounded by Tonkin Highway to the west, Welshpool Road to the north, the Wattle Grove locality boundary to the east and the existing municipal boundary between the Shire of Kalamunda and the City of Gosnells to the south.

 

Board members (as at 1 September 2019)

Ms Marion Blair, OAM, Chair

(Nominated by the Minister)

Marion Blair was appointed as Chair of the Board in September 2018. Her term of appointment concludes in August 2021. Marion was previously a councillor with the City of Mandurah and also with the City of Belmont where she was Deputy Mayor for nine years. In 2015, she was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division for service to local government, to the community of Perth and to women. Marion is a life member of the Australian Local Government Women's Association of Western Australia.

Ms Mary Adam, Deputy Chair

(DLGSC staff member)

Mary Adam has been a member and Deputy Chair of the Board since 2013. Her term of appointment concludes in August 2022. Mary currently works with the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries as General Counsel. She is a member of the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association, Women on Boards and United Nations (UN) Women Australia.

Cr Karen Chappel, member

(Nominated by WALGA)

Karen Chappel has been a member of the Board since 2011. Her term of appointment concludes in August 2021. Karen was a deputy member of the Board until 2015, after which she was appointed as a member. She was elected to the Shire of Morawa in 2005, and has served as President since 2009. Karen is Zone President of the Northern Country Zone of WALGA, is a WALGA Life Member and State Councillor and represents local government on various committees. Karen has a Diploma in Local Government (elected member) and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Mr Anthony Vuleta, member

(Nominated by LGPro)

Anthony Vuleta has been a member of the Board since 2016. His term of appointment concludes in August 2022. Anthony has been the CEO of the Town of Victoria Park since 2014. He was previously President of the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (WA) and is now a member of that Board. Anthony is also a member of the Burswood Park Board.

Cr Russ Fishwick, member

(Nominated by WALGA)

Russ Fishwick has been a member of the Board since 2016. His term of appointment concludes in August 2022. Russ has more than 40 years’ experience as a serving local government officer and previously worked as the Executive Manager of Governance with the Town of Victoria Park. He has also acted in the role as its CEO. Russ is currently a councillor with the City of Joondalup and was first elected in 2006. He has also served two terms as its Deputy Mayor. Russ was the Chair of the Mindarie Regional Council for 10 years and is a current WALGA State Councillor.

Ms Narrell Lethorn, deputy member to Mary Adam

(DLGSC staff member)

Narrell Lethorn was appointed as a deputy member to the Board in April 2018. Her term of appointment concludes in August 2021. Narrell currently works with the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and has a Master of Business Administration.

Mayor Dennis Wellington, deputy member to Karen Chappel

(Nominated by WALGA)

Dennis Wellington was appointed as a deputy member of the board in September 2018. His term of appointment concludes in August 2021. He has been Mayor of the City of Albany since 2011. Dennis also has board experience with the Great Southern Development Commission, the WALGA Great Southern Zone and the National ANZAC Centre Advisory Group.

Ms Helen Sarcich, deputy member to Anthony Vuleta

(Nominated by LGPro)

Helen Sarcich was appointed as a deputy member of the Board in September 2019. Her term of appointment concludes in August 2022. Helen is currently the deputy CEO at the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale. Helen’s experience in local government dates back to 2006 and she has held positions with the Cities of Wanneroo, Rockingham, Kwinana and Fremantle. Helen was previously a councillor with the City of Kalgoorlie Boulder. She is the current President of the Peel Branch of LG Professionals.

Cr Karen Wheatland, deputy member to Russ Fishwick

(Nominated by WALGA)

Karen Wheatland was appointed as a deputy member of the Board in September 2019. Her term of appointment concludes in August 2022. Karen has been a councillor with the City of Melville since 2017, where she is also a member of a number of committees. Karen is currently undertaking her Diploma in Local Government with WALGA.

 

District boundaries

Under Schedule 2.1 of the Act, proposals to change local government district boundaries can be submitted to the board by the minister, local governments or electors of an affected local government.

Where the board decides that a proposed district boundary change is not minor, it must conduct formal inquiries giving affected local governments and electors six weeks to make submissions.

The board must consider any submissions received a​nd take specific factors into consideration. When its assessment is complete, the board submits a report to the Minister for Local Government with a recommendation. This may recommend that the proposal be accepted or rejected. The minister may accept or reject the board’s recommendation but cannot change it.

Wards and representation

Under Schedule 2.2 of the Act, local governments with wards must conduct regular reviews of ward boundaries of representation in consultation with their communities.

The board considers the outcome of these reviews and ensures that the local governments have complied with the Act.

The board must recommend to the minister​ any proposal that, in its opinion, correctly takes account of the criteria in the documents below. The minister may accept or reject the board's recommendation but cannot change it.

Ministerial Statement of Expectation

In November 2017, the Minister for Local Government provided a Statement of Expectation to the Local Government Advisory Board.

This statement reflects the Public Sector Commissioner's governance and performance requirements for State government boards.

Local Government Advisory Board Statement of Intent

To the Minister for Local Government

Thank you for your Statement of Expectation, dated November 2017. On behalf of the Local Government Advisory Board, I am pleased to respond with this Statement of Intent, which outlines how the board will implement your expectations.

I formally commit the board to meeting your expectations and to ensuring that the Government’s key requirements for thebBoard are realised.  We will continue to work to ensure that the community’s confidence in the board is preserved and strengthened and that, in all our activities, we operate in a way that promotes collaboration and demonstrates accountability and transparency in support of the government’s priorities.

We wish to reaffirm all elements of the Statement of Expectations and include the following priorities:

Role and functions

The board will inquire into and make recommendations in respect of local government constitutional, boundary and representation matters within the confines of its legislative capacity.

Community participation

The board will listen to all stakeholders when assessing proposals, including local governments, members of the public, government, business and community sectors.

The board will ensure that any local government affected by a proposal is consulted prior to the board making a recommendation.

The board will give due consideration to the objectives within the Local Government Act 1995 of better decision making, greater community participation, greater accountability and more efficient and effective local government.

Requirement to consider proposals

The board will assess boundary proposals independently, impartially and in accordance with the Act, developing and applying processes and methodologies that ensure that the board’s recommendations are evidence-based, objective and unbiased.

The board will give due consideration before deciding whether a proposal is minor in nature and one for which public submissions need not be invited.

In forming an opinion, the board will consider the minor nature of a proposal, rather than the minor nature of the boundary adjustment.

When further consultation may be required

The board will carry out a formal inquiry process where required and ensure that a range of views and sources of relevant information are considered, avoiding the risk of significant facts or issues being overlooked and of the board proceeding to a recommendation without the benefit of the various points of view about the proposal and its likely effects.

The board will engage in further consultation if it is determined that it is appropriate to change the scope of an inquiry while conducting an inquiry.

The board will also give further notice and allow adequate time for further submissions to be made if they intend to make an order that is significantly different from the originally proposed order.

If it is not clear whether the scope of an inquiry or proposed order is not significantly different from the initial scope or originally proposed order, the board will exercise prudence and treat the matter as significantly different and engage in further consultation.

Relationship with the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries

The board will work with the department to ensure that the board is managed in a way that promotes the efficient, effective, economical and ethical use of resources.

The board will take advice from the department on the application of the Act, and ensure that all such queries are referred to the department.

In dealing with the media, as Chair of the board, I will seek the assistance of the department in responding, in accordance with the communication protocol.

It is acknowledged that the department will continue to make available an officer to act as the executive officer to the board.

Good governance

The board will adopt and follow best practice governance processes, ensuring all members of the board are aware of, and comply with, governance principles and reporting arrangements as set out in the Act and the board’s governance documents, such as the Code of Conduct and board Charter.  Appropriate training will be provided to board members.

Communication with the minister

The board will keep you informed of its actions and alert you to events or issues that may impact on government policy or operations, including providing monthly written updates of the board’s work schedule.

Conclusion

The board will continue to diligently manage its activities in accordance with legislative requirements and we will continue to comply with all relevant corporate governance requirements.

All new members of the board will undergo an induction program and receive a comprehensive handbook detailing their role and responsibilities. All board members are to abide by the Code of Conduct and will be offered ongoing support by the Chair.

The board looks forward to continuing to work with you and delivering on your ministerial expectations.

Mel Congerton
CHAIR
LOCAL GOVERNMENT ADVISORY BOARD

Contact

Telephone 61 8 6551 8700 
Email advisoryboard@dlgsc.wa.gov.au

WA Local Government Grants Commission

The WA Local Government Grants Commission (Grants Commission) is a statutory body established under the Local Government Grants Act 1978.

Its principal function is to make recommendations to the Minister for Local Government regarding the allocation of Commonwealth financial assistance grants to WA's 137 local governments. 

The commission consists of a chairperson, deputy chairperson and three local government elected members. The commission also includes four deputy members. It is supported by departmental officers.

The current membership is:

  • Chairperson - Hon Cr Fred Riebeling, Commissioner, Town of Port Hedland 
  • Deputy Chairperson - Vacant
  • Metropolitan Member – Cr Deb Hamblin, Deputy Mayor, City of Rockingham
  • Country Urban Member – Dr Wendy Giles, Councillor, City of Bunbury
  • Country Rural Member – Cr Ian West, Shire of Irwin
  • Deputy to the Deputy Chairperson – Mr Luke Stevens, Legal Counsel, DLGSC
  • Deputy Metropolitan Member – Cr Domenic Zappa, City of Wanneroo
  • Deputy Country Urban Member – Cr Deborah Botica, City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder
  • Deputy Country Rural Member – Cr Moira Girando, President, Shire of Coorow

Annual report

Page reviewed 10 July 2019