WA passes ‘landmark’ local reforms

The Western Australian Government has passed the Local Government Act review through the state parliament, promising the ‘bring councils into the 21st century’.

State Minister for Local Government, David Templeman, said that the reforms target key priority areas identified by the community and local government sector.

Commencing at the 2019 ordinary local government elections in October, all candidates will be required to have completed an online induction. This free, online module will be available on the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries' website in July.

"This first set of reforms will ensure that all council members are equipped to take on their vital but challenging role, and that local government is able to leverage on modern technology to communicate with the public and ratepayers alike,” Mr Templeman said.

"The public has high expectations of government at all levels and these reforms represent an important step forward in making local government agile, smart and inclusive.

Reforms will also:

  • Improve standards of behaviour through a mandatory code of conduct for council members and candidates;

  • Introduce new standards for CEO recruitment and performance management to help elected members select a CEO and assess their performance;

  • Provide clarity for elected members to manage real and perceived conflicts of interest related to gifts; and

  • Require local governments to publish information on their website such as local laws, approved council policies and all documents contained within a meeting agenda allowing instant access to council information for everyone 24/7.

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