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Local Government Reform

We want your ideas for council reform

The Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government is undertaking a review of local government legislation that South Australian councils operate under and is seeking your ideas for reform.

We are looking for your ideas that can progress real improvements to the system of local government in our State.

What are the reform areas?

There are several areas of local government and activity that could benefit from a fresh look and sensible reform. These are—

Stronger council member capacity and better conduct

Council members nominate for council to make decisions for, and to act in the best interests of their community. Legislation plays an important role in assisting them to do this, and to ensure that their decisions are always made with the highest standards of integrity. We are seeking ideas on the tools that councils need to ensure that relationships amongst their members are constructive, and that all council members have the knowledge and skills to perform their roles.

Lower costs and enhanced financial accountability

We’re interested in ideas about ways to improve the provisions that guide all councils’ financial accountability, to deliver a system of local government that councils’ constituents see as robust, sustainable and transparent.

Efficient and transparent local government representation

The review will also incorporate a review of the 2018 local government elections. This review may consider all aspects of local government elections, for example, voting methods, the voters roll, timing of elections, the role of candidate donations and information provided to voters.

Simpler regulation

A broad based review of the Local Government Act 1999 is an opportunity to identify statutory requirements whose costs outweigh their public benefits. We would appreciate hearing of ideas for improvements that allow your council to better focus on the services that your community values most.

How to make your ideas known

Prior to developing any proposals for legislative reform, we would like to hear all ideas for improvements from across the local government sector and from communities. You are invited to submit any feedback on the above four reform areas, or suggestions for other improvements that you think should be considered.

To maximise the value of your contribution, we would appreciate your considered ideas for reform that include an appropriate level of detail and identifies possible solutions that focus on real benefits to ratepayers and communities.

Your ideas can be submitted to the Office of Local Government at DPTI.LocalGovernmentReform@sa.gov.au by Friday 26 April 2019. You can also continue the conversation at yourSAy.sa.gov.au.

What is the timetable for reform?

Please submit all ideas for reform by Friday 26 April 2019.

Following the consideration of all ideas, a reform paper will be released for consultation in mid-2019. This paper will discuss the ideas and opportunities within the four reform areas and other reforms that may arise through consultation with the sector and communities. This will enable further discussion and consultation on proposals for reform before a Local Government Reform Amendment Bill is developed in early 2020.

Will there be an opportunity for early reform?

If reform ideas are identified that can bring immediate benefit to councils and their communities, the Minister will consider progressing an initial reform Bill in mid-2019. You may wish to comment on such improvements in any submission you make.