The State Local Government Partnership Leadership Group Agreement held its first meeting on Tuesday 19 June 2018. Chaired by Hon Mark McGowan, Premier and Hon David Templeman, Minister for Local Government, State and Local Government leaders came together to consider and discuss matters that deliver beneficial outcomes for local communities across Western Australia.
There was a genuine spirit of good will and a renewed commitment to work collaboratively. It comes at time of momentous change and reform to the public sector in Western Australia. The Leadership Group acknowledged that whilst there will not always be consensus between the partners, that is our mutual aim and committed to working through issues respectfully.
Matters discussed, and key outcomes included:
State Local Government Working Group
- The establishment of an outcomes focused State Local Government Working Group to bring together key government agencies, local government, and other identified interests to develop and drive a long-term agenda and culture of collaboration. The working group will:
- Measure and monitor the performance of the State/Local Government Partnership Agreement;
- Develop a three-year strategic blueprint for improved collaboration and efficiencies between State and Local Government;
- Provide an ongoing engagement mechanism for Local Government to inform and influence State Government reform that impacts on the business of local government; and
- Provide a framework for better alignment with government strategy (State and Federal).
WA Plan for Jobs - Securing WA’s Future
- The Leadership Group discussed the need to identify and progress initiatives that create new jobs and new investment in WA.
- WALGA advised Local Government is embracing the WA Plans for Jobs and has commissioned a report to inform Local Governments in identifying ways the sector can engage with the State’s policy platform as part of their local economic development activities.
- The Leadership Group welcomed WALGA’s initiative and the Premier committed to examining the Report’s findings and recommendations. The Leadership Group agreed to discuss future directions and next steps through the Working Group.
Modernising Western Australia’s Planning Systems
- Minister Saffioti led the discussion on the importance of reform for the WA Planning Systems to make the system more efficient, open and understandable to everyone. The five proposed reform areas centre on a system that is strategically led, legible, transparent, efficient and delivers smart growth. The Leadership Group welcomed the reform noting it was critical to have modern and well understood planning system for WA.
Fees and Charges
- A long-standing issue for Local Government is the lack of efficient indexation of fees and charges determined by State Government legislation and regulation. Supposedly cost reflective, they quickly lose relevance to their cost base if they are not periodically reviewed which makes service planning and delivery challenging for Local Government. The Leadership Group acknowledged the need to address these concerns, tasking the Working Group to develop options.
Climate Change, Sustainability and Coastal Erosion
- The need to advance the collective effort to address climate change was discussed. It was agreed to task the Working Group to determine common goals and priority areas in relation to climate change and sustainability, including coastal erosion.
Fostering Better Relationships
- The Leadership Group discussed the need for relationship management between Elected Members and Administration of local governments. LG Professionals WA highlighted how dysfunctional and fractured relationships, have a significant impact on productivity and most importantly the health and wellbeing of all parties involved. The Leadership Group has tasked the Working Group to consider these issues and develop options to achieve positive outcomes for their communities.
- The Procurement landscape in WA was discussed including the opportunity to address unmet need, deliver savings for the business of government and explore Local Government alignment with State procurement arrangements. The Leadership Group has tasked the Working Group to explore options.
- The Leadership Group acknowledged the budgetary restrictions on road funding and a genuine willingness to work together to reach a positive outcome. Further discussions will be progressed as part of the State/Local Government Road Funding Agreement negotiations.
State Local Government Partnership Agreement Leadership Group Attendees
The State Local Government Working Group will be convened for July 2018. Next meeting of the Leadership Group will be held in November 2018.
Tuesday 19 June 2018, Aboriginal Peoples House, Parliament House.
- Hon. Mark McGowan MLA, Premier of Western Australia (Chair)
- Hon. David Templeman MLA, Minister for Local Government and Culture and the Arts (Chair)
- Hon. Ben Wyatt MLA, Treasurer; Minister for Finance; Energy; Aboriginal Affairs
- Hon. Rita Saffioti MLA, Minister for Transport; Planning; Lands
- Cr Lynne Craigie, President, Western Australian Local Government Association
- Mr Allen Cooper, Deputy President, LG Professionals WA
Invited Participants and Observers
- President Stephen Strange, State Councillor, Western Australian Local Government Association
- Duncan Ord OAM, Director General, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries
- Ricky Burges PSM, Chief Executive Officer, Western Australian Local Government Association
- Mr Wayne Scheggia, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Western Australian Local Government Association
- Ms Candy Choo, Chief Executive Officer, LG Professionals WA
- Mr Gary Hamley, Chief of Staff, Office of the Hon. David Templeman, MLA
- Kelly McManus, Principal Policy Advisor, Office of the Hon. David Templeman, MLA
- Tarnya Widdicombe, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Hon. David Templeman, MLA
- Roger Martin, Chief of Staff, Officer of the Treasurer, Hon. Ben Wyatt, MLA
- Dave Coggin, Principal Policy Advisor, Office of the Premier, Hon Mark McGowan, MLA
- Jodie Holbrook, Director Local Government Policy and Engagement, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (Executive Officer)