Julie Matheson

Subiaco Councillor | Certified Financial Planner | DAP Expert

The Minister’s Proposals

The Minister for Local Government has put in 12 proposals to amalgamate 30 Perth metropolitan local governments into 15 large councils.

The problem I have with the Minister’s proposals is that each proposal is written on two bits of paper with an attached picture of a map.

The Ministers 12 two-page proposals should be rejected by the Local Government Advisory Board.  Why?

Because the public can not scrutinise these proposals.  They simply do not have enough detail to warrant a submission.

In my view, the Minister’s proposals do not meet with the INTENT of Local Govt Act, Schedule 2.1 Clause 2 (2)(a):

set out clearly the nature of the proposal, the reasons for making the proposal and the effects of the proposal on local governments

Even worse, the Minister has left it up to the LGAB to fill in all the missing
detail for the Minister’s Western Suburbs (G7) proposal, and the rest of them.  The LGAB will do this by collecting submissions from the seven affected councils and cobble together a recommendation to the Minister.  Guess what?  That missing detail added to the Minister’s proposal can not be scrutinised by the public prior to going to the Minister because all LGAB recommendations have to be lodged with the Minister by 30 June 2014.  There is just not enough time for LGAB to run an open and transparent local government reform process.

The Minister’s 12 proposals should be rejected.  His proposals set a very low standard with flimsy reasons and scarce detail on the affected local governments and their electors.  How can any members of the public with little time on their hands write a submission of any consequence on scarce detail?  At best the public would have to get information from their council which shouldn’t be the case.  The Minister should provide the detail.  It’s his proposal after all.

If you are inclined to write a submission or two by the 13th of March 2014, here are some points you might consider:

  • The public can not genuinely comment on the Minister’s proposal because there is no detail to comment on.
  • The public can demand that the Minister’s proposals should be rejected by the LGAB because they are unable to comment on the missing detail.
  • The public can claim that the Minister’s proposals do not meet the INTENT of Schedule 2.1 Clause 2 (2)(a).
  • The public can request in their submission that when the LGAB do complete the detail for the Minister’s proposal with a recommendation, that the proposal be sent out for public consultation BEFORE it is sent to the Minister for approval (July 2014).
  • The public can also raise their concerns that the LGAB have accepted a very low standard of proposal from the Minister, causing:
  1. The Board’s scarce resources to be spent on filling in the missing detail;
  2. Public scrutiny is not possible on the two page proposal by the Minister because of the missing detail; and
  3. The Board will produce its own detail on the Minister’s proposals without public scrutiny.

Submissions can be lodged here: http://dlg.wa.gov.au/Content/LG/AdvisoryBoard/CurrentInquiries/MetroInquiries.aspx#submission

References:

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/perth-councils-to-be-halved-from-30-to-15-under-new-wa-govt-proposal/story-fnhocxo3-1226758223632

Links to Minister’s proposals:

Western Suburbs: http://dlg.wa.gov.au/Content/LG/AdvisoryBoard/CurrentInquiries/MetroProposals/12_2013_Ministers_Proposal_Western_Suburbs.pdf

Shire of Kalamunda: http://dlg.wa.gov.au/Content/LG/AdvisoryBoard/CurrentInquiries/MetroProposals/5_2013_Ministers_Proposal_Belmont_Kalamunda.pdf

City of Canning: http://dlg.wa.gov.au/Content/LG/AdvisoryBoard/CurrentInquiries/MetroProposals/7_2013_Ministers_Proposal_Canning_Gosnells.pdf

My email to parliamentarians in Hansard regarding Local Government Amendment Bill 2013: http://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/Hansard/hansard.nsf/0/df35a9e6a1075d0548257c8c00433112/$FILE/C39+S1+20140227+p24b-50a.pdf

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