Public notice

The objective of stage one of the Local Government Act review was to:

  • modernise local government; and
  • better position local government to deliver services to the community. 

This reform delivers on the following principles which underpinned stage one of the review:

  • efficiency: providing a framework for local governments to be more efficient by removing impediments to good practice;
  • transparency: providing easy access to meaningful, timely, and accurate information about local governments; and
  • participatory: strengthening local democracy through increased community engagement.

The current system

  • There are currently many situations where local governments must provide information to the community. This includes issuing public notices, keeping registers on a variety of subjects and making certain documents available for public inspection.
  • Public notices are currently required to be published either locally or State-wide depending upon the likely location of those affected or with significant interest.
  • Local governments are currently required to make a significant amount of information available to the community at their offices during office hours.

Consultation

The department undertook consultation on the topic of public notice during stage one of the Local Government Act review consultation. 

The following sections outline what was heard during consultation and how the feedback has informed changes to the Act.

What you’ve told us

  • There are concerns about moving purely online
  • Community newsletters are a good source of communication
  • General support for an opt-in email notification system
  • Local governments should have autonomy to decide the best method
  • Newspapers are an outdated and insufficient way of communication
  • Websites are already well used by some local governments

Ideas for change

  • There should be a central repository of information via online portal
  • All information currently required to be disclosed should be online
  • Live-streaming of council meetings
  • Making district maps and ward boundaries available for public inspection
  • Providing information on rating categories on the local government’s website

Policy position

On 1 August 2018 the State Government announced their policy positions on the stage one priority reforms, including their position on public notice requirements.  

The following report provides further information on the findings from consultation and the Government’s decision regarding public notice by local governments:

Public notice policy position

Reforms introduced

On 27 June 2019, the Local Government Legislation Amendment Act 2019 was passed by Parliament. This Amendment Act introduced changes to public notice requirements and information that must be made publicly available.  

Please refer to Reforms introduced for more information on the Amendment Act, and frequently asked questions on the reforms.  
Page reviewed 15 January 2020