The Western Australia Local Government Association (WALGA) have highlighted the announcement by the New South Wales Government of $1 billion in funding for its reform agenda, demonstrates a serious shortfall of funding for WA reform. Read more >
Warringah Council has appointed consultants Hames Sharley to prepare a Precinct Structure Plan to guide future land uses and development around the new Northern Beaches Hospital at Frenchs Forest, New South Wales. Read more >
The Local Government Association of South Australia (LGASA) has expressed its disappointment over recent changes to the powers of Local Government.
Liberal Members of the Legislative Council sided with Government Legislative Councillors recently to vote down a Green's Motion to 'disallow' changes to Development Regulations, which removed the power for inner metropolitan Councils to assess development applications for buildings greater than four storeys.
Family First and the Xenophon Group also voted against the disallowance motion.
"This is a surprising move from the Opposition, who made much of a pre-election commitment to return planning powers back to inner metro Councils for development up to eight storeys, and had publicly criticised the Government for the introduction of these Regulations," LGASA President Mayor David O’Loughlin said.
"I am advised that as recently as 14 February, this year, the Deputy Liberal Leader, Ms Vickie Chapman, released the statement ‘A Marshall Liberal Government will return planning powers to inner metropolitan councils after they were ripped away by the Weatherill Labor Government at the end of 2013’, and she went on to recognise the important role of Councils in the planning process saying ‘we want them to continue to be involved’.
"Last night in the Legislative Council, the Liberals walked away from that pre-election commitment."
Mayor O’Loughlin said that Local Government supports planning reform and has been a strong contributor to the Expert Panel on Planning Reform’s review of the system, providing a detailed submission promoting better integration, accessibility, accountability and local involvement.
"The Government introduced these regulations, without consultation and without any expressed justification or evidence of a problem.
“Furthermore, they did so in the middle of their own reform process, without referral to their own expert panel.” Mayor O’Loughlin said.
“No rhyme or reason given, just a power grab by the State and a thumbs down for local involvement.
“Just the simple act of getting around the table with the LGA, elucidating their concerns and exploring viable alternatives would have been appreciated.”
The LGASA also said that the Government’s recent announcement about the Coordinator General’s ‘call in’ power for developments of over $3 million is another blow to local communities, who will need to wait for an invitation to stand in front of the State’s Development Assessment Commission to be heard on local issues.
“As it now stands, local Councils will be sorely tempted to put up a sign outside every inner metro development over four levels and every project over $3 million called in by the Coordinator General to say ‘don’t call us, call your local member, here is their name, phone number and address’."
South Australians will vote for a record number of contested positions and a record number of women candidates following the close of nominations for Council Elections.
Local Government Association of South Australia CEO Wendy Campana, said the number of positions elected unopposed was the lowest on record (73) out of 707 positions across the State.
"The ratio of candidates to positions is the highest on record - on average around 1.89 people will contest each position - with a 4.7 percent increase in nominations.
"As a result a record 1261 candidates will be electioneering in the coming weeks for 629 positions in 189 separate elections.
"Five positions in three wards did not receive any nomination which means they will require supplementary elections."
A record number, 382 or 28.64 percent of the total nominees, are women.
"Currently 27.22 percent of Council members are women, which is ahead of the 24.6 percent in State Parliament and behind the 30.1 percent in the Federal Parliament.
"It's up to voters now in terms of outcomes but it is pleasing to see the number of women who are willing to stand for office continues to climb."
Council Elections will be conducted by postal ballot.
Voter packs will be posted between 20 and 24 October and completed voting papers must be returned by close of business at 5pm on Friday 7 September.
A full list of candidates' names is on the LGA website at www.lga.sa.gov.au/electionresults
Canberra’s disability sector will receive a further $6.3 million in funding to help the ACT adapt to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Minister for Disability Joy Burch said the funding would go to initiatives and activities that help organisations to support families and carers to prepare for the NDIS, build culturally appropriate supports and services and develop the capacity of new and existing services.
“This $6.3 million is the next instalment of the $12.5 million in sector development funding earmarked for the ACT from the Commonwealth Government.”
“We have already invested $3.3 million in initiatives such as Community Conversations and Capacity Building workshops, and more than $1.2 million in funding to local organisations and providers.
“This instalment will target market development and growth in new services as funding for the ACT disability sector doubles to $342 million by 2019-20.
“Last weekend’s Early Intervention and Therapy Services Expo highlighted the range of services which will be provided in the ACT from next year, with 50 providers showing what they can offer.
“About 1,000 people attended the Expo and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
“Developing a robust and diverse disability sector is paramount, which is why the ACT Government will look to invest in activities that provide assistance and advice to service providers, assist with compliance of national standards and promote career pathways.
“We will also look to host a wide-ranging NDIS conference early next year, which will bring together people with disabilities, service providers and experts to discuss the ACT trial and look at ways we can continue to strengthen our sector.”