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The State Government is reforming the Local Government Act 1995. Good news for rate payers and residents.
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:
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 11 May 2023 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.
The Local Government Amendment Act 2023 passed on 11 May 2023.
The Act included both electoral and non-electoral reforms.
The second and final tranche of amendments to implement the Model Financial Statements were gazetted on 30 June 2023.
The Regulations introduce regulation amendments to provide for local government constitutional and electoral reforms following the passage of the Local Government Amendment Act 2023.
The Regulations introduce regulation amendments to provide for the implementation of reforms relating to broadcasting and recording of council meetings, owners and occupiers enrolments, and council professional development and training following the passage of the Local Government Amendment Act 2023.
The electoral reforms are aimed at strengthening local democracy, transparency and accountability by:
A number of sections of the Act were commenced on 1 July 2023 to give effect to the changes listed above at the October 2023 elections.
Electoral matters timeline
To help local governments inform ratepayers of the electoral reforms and how they will affect the upcoming elections, we have created this toolkit.
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 commenced immediately following assent of the Act, including:
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.
If you can’t wait for the next webinar we have put together a comprehensive suite of information.
If you still have questions regarding the bill and local government reform email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can even speak to a real person at 1300 762 511.
The ability of a local government to adopt a policy to pay and reimburse professional development and training for council members.
Payments for independent council committee members.
Enrolment changes to owners and occupiers roll — explanatory and support materials currently in development.
The Statewide caretaker period — explanatory and support materials currently in development.
Requirements for the broadcasting (livestreaming) and recording of council meetings.
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.
On 27 June 2019 the Local Government Legislation Amendment Act 2019 was passed by Parliament.
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.
Do not submit enquiries with this form.