06/08/2014 - 13:34

Simpson calls for bylaws reform

06/08/2014 - 13:34

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Local Government Minister Tony Simpson has used a speech to the Western Australian Local Government Association AGM to urged councils to reform and harmonise regulations across the state.

Local Government Minister Tony Simpson.

Local Government Minister Tony Simpson has used a speech to the WA Local Government Association AGM to urged councils to reform and harmonise regulations across the state.

Among the areas Mr Simpson highlighted as needing reform were subdivision of land, home building and renovations.

“For more than 100 years we have had different rules from one local government to another in just about everything,” he said.

“A woman in one area can own two cats and her sister in the next suburb can have umpteen. 

“I can drink a coffee on the footpath cafe in one area, but not in another.”

Mr Simpson said it should be for the councils to work through WALGA to fix the issues, not for the state government to legislate.

“If I submit a development application in one council, I can get it dealt with by an officer,” he said.

“But in another it has to go to a council meeting. It’s time for change.

‘‘Get your heads together and work out how it can be done.”

Mr Simpson said such an approach could iron out inconsistencies, make things less complicated and add more focus, but acknowledged one ‘size fits all’ would not always be the right approach.

The Perth metropolitan area is projected to grow by 500,000 people over the next decade, highlighting the need for change, he said.

Mr Simpson also reiterated the Local Government Advisory Board would report to him in six weeks on the metropolitan council amalgamation plans.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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