Reform of the Local Government Act — update

The State Government is reforming the Local Government Act 1995. Good news for rate payers and residents.

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The latest news

This State Government is reforming the Local Government Act 1995 (the Act).

The reforms are aimed at ensuring local governments better serve residents and ratepayers. The reforms have been crafted in consultation with the local government sector. They are the most significant reforms to the sector in 25 years.

The proposed reforms are based on 6 themes:

  1. Earlier intervention, effective regulation and stronger penalties
  2. Reducing red tape, increasing consistency and simplicity
  3. Greater transparency and accountability
  4. Stronger local democracy and community engagement
  5. Clearer roles and responsibilities
  6. Improved financial management and reporting.

To ensure that key election related reforms were in place before the 2023 local government elections, the amendments to the Act were divided into two tranches. The first tranche, which was passed by Parliament on May 11 focuses on electoral reform, which will strengthen local democracy and provide greater transparency and accountability.

The second tranche will focus on the establishment of the new Local Government Inspector and the introduction of local government monitors for early intervention.

Tranche 1

The Local Government Amendment Act 2023 passed on 11 May 2023.

The Act included both electoral and non-electoral reforms.

Electoral reforms

The electoral reforms are aimed at strengthening local democracy, transparency and accountability by:

Some of these reforms will be in place for the October 2023 elections, some will require more preparation time for local governments and will be implemented in the 2025 elections.

Non-electoral reforms

The first tranche included a number of important non- electoral changes, some of which are to be implemented on proclamation, but most require the development of regulations and guidance materials before being implemented. These regulations and materials will be created via consultation with the local government sector. Most of these reforms will not be ready for implementation until 2024.

These non-electoral reforms include:

A number of straightforward reforms will commence immediately following assent of the Act, including:


Need more details?

The DLGSC will be holding a series of webinars on the details of reforms for the local government sector. The first webinar was held on March 9 and provided a general overview of the reforms.

Webinars will be held monthly focusing on a particular element of proposed changes to the Local Government Act 1995.

The next webinar will focus on changes in wards and is currently scheduled for 10:30am 1 June 2023 but look out for LG Alerts for more details.

If you can’t wait for the webinar we have put together a comprehensive suite of information.

Still have questions?

If you still have questions regarding the bill and local government reform email us at or you can even speak to a real person at 1300 762 511.

Commencement timing and support materials

19 May 2023

For October 2023 elections

After October 2023 elections (for future elections)

Subject to development of regulations and support materials

What’s next?

Work on a second tranche of additional legislation to deliver further reforms — including the establishment of the new Local Government Inspector and the introduction of local government monitors for early intervention is continuing in consultation with the local government sector.



The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries invited comments from local governments and the wider community to inform implementation of the reforms. 

The consultation period ran from the 10 November 2021 to 25 February 2022.

More than 200 submissions were received from local governments, peak bodies, advocacy groups and members of the public.

These legislative reforms will provide for a stronger, more consistent framework for local governments across Western Australia.

Community group submissions

Government submissions

Individual submissions

Peak body submissions

Page reviewed 06 June 2023