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Local Government Policy Manual

Statement: Local government recognises the valuable contribution it makes to the ongoing prosperity of South Australia through working closely with its communities, and shall continue to rigorously promote recognition and autonomy of councils through lobbying and advocating activities.

1.1.1 Constitutional Recognition

Local government deserves recognition in the Australian Constitution and legislation that entrenches its existence so that it can only be altered with a majority agreement of federal/state governments. Councils, through the LGA and ALGA shall continue to campaign for this recognition.

1.1.2 Direct Federal Funding

Local government emphasises that financial contributions from federal government are vital and that Constitutional recognition would remove the significant red tape currently surrounding these transactions. Until Constitutional recognition is achieved, local government will work with federal government to reduce red tape where practicable.

1.1.3 Federal/State Government Funding

Local government collects only 4% of national taxation and is not in a fiscal position to tackle all of the issues affecting local communities alone. Local government will continue to lobby federal/ state governments to provide fair and equitable resources and funding to tackle issues affecting local communities.

1.1.4 Autonomy

Local government requires the ability to swiftly respond to the needs of their communities and provide the services required without being unreasonably hindered by conditions and approvals imposed by state government. Local government will continue to lobby state government to maintain the autonomy of the sector.

1.1.5 Council Amalgamations

Amalgamations should only occur on a voluntary basis, where there is the support of council and their communities and strong supportive evidence. The LGA shall oppose any policy from state government or other entities that suggests the possibility of forced amalgamations.

1.1.6 Service Provisions

Local government supports the achievement of cost savings and efficiencies through regionalisation and shared services, and shall continue to work with state government, its regional counterparts and other stakeholders to identify ways to streamline the way services are provided.

1.1.7 State-Wide Strategies

Local government recognises its responsibilities to give due weight to the plans and strategies of other spheres of government, while continuing to be a key partner in their development. Local government shall continue to seek full and meaningful engagement with other spheres in the interests of consistency and alignment.

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