Western Australia’s peak business body has backed a new report that has called for a drastic reduction in the number of local councils in the metropolitan area, saying it provides clear evidence that the current system is failing.
The Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel released a draft findings paper today for public comment, which slated significant changes to Perth’s local government structures, boundaries and governance.
Chairman Alan Robson said the panel had narrowed its recommendations down to three options for local government;
- Establishing 10 to 12 councils based on strategic activity centres;
- Five councils based on the central area and sub-regions; or
- A single metropolitan council.
There are currently 30 local councils governing the metropolitan area.
WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry general manager advocacy, David Harrison, said the current system was riddled with shortcomings, including duplication, inefficiencies, excessive regulation and varying levels of services.
“CCI is pleased the review panel has listened to the views of the business community, and has put to government three options for lasting and meaningful reform to the sector,” Mr Harrison said.
“CCI believes restructuring local councils will not only secure additional funds for communities, but improve efficiency and service delivery for ratepayers.
“Research suggests that there are substantial savings in the costs of services, as well as improvements in professionalism, as local governments increase in size.”