Australia's National Local Government Newspaper Online
|Editions > 1998 > July > Gold||Saturday May 18, 2013 - Melbourne Time: 20:11:42|
Consultation the hallmark of reform
Extensive public consultation will continue to be a hallmark of reform in Local Government in South Australia as the State moves into a legislative review of the Local Government Act.
The South Australian Minister for Local Government, Mark Brindal, said to date the principal thrust of the reform agenda involved the voluntary amalgamation of around 70% of Councils in the State.
"South Australia has been widely recognised for its innovative and cooperative approach to structural reform, with a major focus on public consultation," the Minister said. "The Government made it clear from the start that it did not, and still does not, favour compulsory amalgamation and Councils and their communities were encouraged to work cooperatively to develop local solutions.
"Leadership has come from those in Local Government who have looked beyond their own Council boundaries and thought what might be best for their region and for South Australia in particular."
The first comprehensive review of the operating legislation for Local Government in South Australia since 1934 is now being undertaken as the next phase of reform. Mark Brindal said that the public consultation phase of the review had seen the release of three Consultation Draft Bills and two discussion papers.
"The consultation draft documents have been developed from a range of sources, including extensive consultation with Local Government," he said. "The documents do not represent policy either for State or Local Government - the LGA or Councils - but they do represent the outcome of extensive research and a basis for consultation and negotiation.
"In some important respects, the draft provisions codify and generalise what the community can expect from good, accountable management practice in their Councils.
"The effect is to make public standards that Local Government already sets for itself. The ultimate aim is to support a system of Local Government that is competitive, accountable, clear about roles and responsive to community needs and aspirations."
The Minister said that policy aspects of the legislative review process would be modified in response to submissions and public comment before legislation was introduced to Parliament.
"Information sessions and workshops are being held throughout South Australia in association with the Local Government Association and regional organisations," he said.
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