The LGA has presented all parties with a road map for local government reform, outlining priority changes that can be implemented in the first 100 days of the next government and beyond.
President Lorraine Rosenberg said the LGA’s reform agenda has been developed through consultation with member councils, and provides a sensible pathway to strengthen transparency, accountability and efficiency in local government.
“The LGA’s 2018 state election platform – South Australia. Uncapped potential – identifies local government reform as a priority for the next state government,” Mayor Rosenberg said.
“Blunt instruments like rate capping and forced amalgamations don’t work – you only need to look interstate to see how these policies have hurt communities.”
“A prescriptive, legislated approach to reform can tie the sector to a “one size fits all” outcome that creates additional red tape, and can give communities less say about how their local council should operate.”
“Our proposal is based on a genuine partnership, with the state government providing local government with a robust legislative framework, and councils working to best practice standards to drive efficiencies, enhance local decision making and deliver value to communities.”
Key elements in the LGA’s local government reform agenda include:
Implementing a bench marking program
Standardising external council audits
Maximising the effectiveness of council audit committees
Strengthening the code of conduct for council members
Reviewing the representation review process
Considering opportunities to diversify local government revenue
Implementing local government elections reform
Mayor Rosenberg said the LGA and councils were keen to partner with the next state parliament to make the sector even better.
“We’ve identified a range of opportunities to make councils more efficient and transparent, but we can’t make these changes on our own,” said Mayor Rosenberg.
“We are ready for change, and look forward to working with all members of the next state parliament to deliver sensible local government reforms that will benefit South Australia.”
The LGA’s full proposal for local government reform can be downloaded here.