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Property Council lack credibility on local government reform

The LGA has dismissed the Property Council’s proposal to halve the number of SA councils, saying the group has no credibility when it comes to local government.

LGA CEO Matt Pinnegar said the Property Council was on an ideological crusade and had no intention of playing a constructive role or adding to the intellectual debate about important reform.

“If they had bothered to look interstate where amalgamations have been forced on communities, they’d know they typically fail to deliver promised cost savings to ratepayers, and, in some cases, have led to costly de-amalgamation processes which pass costs on to the ratepayers and Property Council members,” Mr Pinnegar said.

“Their position shows how out of touch they are - both sides of politics in our State oppose forced council amalgamations, and communities around the country don’t support them either.”

Mr Pinnegar said the LGA is already working on a range of reforms to drive efficiencies, including improved shared services arrangements between councils, and the implementation of benchmarking across the sector, and these measures are all in the public realm.

“We’re also working closely with the State Government on boundary adjustment reform to provide a streamlined, independent process for councils and communities who want to investigate making changes to their borders,” he said.

 “The Property Council has no interest in playing a constructive role in the operations of local government in SA or improving the way our councils and communities operate.

““That is why the LGA has begun working with the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) to improve understanding and co-operation between our sectors and deliver better local place making for South Australian communities.”

West Torrens Mayor John Trainer agreed that any comments from the Property Council about local government should be taken with a grain of salt.

"This is the sort of thing you can expect from the Property Council who are, deep down, just representatives of corporate greed,” Mayor Trainer said.

“The developers they represent are interested in profits, not communities, and they obviously want to weaken the capacity of communities to resist their intrusions.

"Listening to property developers tell us how we should organise our communities is like a farmer taking advice from the fox as to how he should design his henhouse."

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