09/02/2010 - 17:25

Local council amalgamation on track

09/02/2010 - 17:25

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The state government has reaffirmed its committment to introduce local government reform in Western Australia suggesting the process of reform was on course and progressing well.

The state government has reaffirmed its committment to introduce local government reform in Western Australia suggesting the process of reform was on course and progressing well.

Local Government Minister John Castrilli told more than 400 local government representatives in Perth today that those local governments that had embraced the concept of amalgamation should be congratulated and encouraged other councils to further consider the benefits of reform.

He said said the state government remained committed to reducing the number of local councils from 139 to less than 100 in five years.

Up to $2.5 million would be made available this year and in 2010-11 from the Country Local Government Fund to help those local government groups which had formalised their position and wanted to proceed to amalgamation.

He re-iterated that participation in a regional transition group was voluntary and if local governments did not want not to engage in the process, they were free to decide and they were also free to choose their partners.

"For those local governments which have not reached agreement but wish to amalgamate, the Government is offering a staged process to assist in progressing reform at a considered pace, with options for review and negotiation," he said.

Local governments have been asked to advise the Minister of their intention to join a regional group by March 26.

 

 

Full announcement below:

 

Local government reform on track
Portfolio: Local Government

Local Government Minister John Castrilli today re-affirmed the State Government's resolve to introduce local government reform in Western Australia.

Addressing more than 400 local government representatives in Perth, Mr Castrilli said the process of reform was on course and progressing well.

The Minister congratulated those local governments that had embraced the concept of amalgamation and encouraged other councils to further consider the benefits of reform.

Mr Castrilli said the State Government remained committed to reducing the number of local councils from 139 to less than 100 in five years.

"Local government reform will generate stronger and more efficient delivery of services throughout the State," he said.

"It will also assist in reducing unnecessary governance and bureaucracy within the local government sector.

"And, importantly, it will provide improved focus on regional priorities and attracting funding and economic development, thus improving the outcomes for community."

Up to $2.5million would be made available this year and in 2010-11 from the Country Local Government Fund to help those local government groups which had formalised their position and wanted to proceed to amalgamation.

The Minister re-iterated that participation in a regional transition group was voluntary.

He said that if local governments did not want not to engage in the process, they were free to decide. They were also free to choose their partners.

"For those local governments which have not reached agreement but wish to amalgamate, the Government is offering a staged process to assist in progressing reform at a considered pace, with options for review and negotiation," he said.

"The first stage is for local governments to get together and discuss how the Regional Transition Group (RTG) or Regional Collaborative Group (RCG) process might apply to them."

Mr Castrilli said the RTG and the RTC models provided local governments with a clear direction to reform, with the initial focus on the production of a regional business plan.

Local governments have been asked to advise the Minister of their intention to join a regional group by March 26.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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