Are your councils fit for future?

Being change ready in an invaluable asset for local government. This is because they are faced with numerous challenges including increased demand for better service quality and quantity, budget cuts and reorganising processes and systems to be more sustainable.  In order to effectively manage this change, councils must embed a culture of collaboration and innovation.

For instance in NSW, local councils have to prove themselves to be sustainable in delivering services and financially under the recent fit for future reform. Likewise earlier in the year in South Australia, the Property Council of Australia made the amalgamation of councils a top priority.

In NSW, Local Government Minister Paul Toole has estimated the State’s 152 council are collectively losing around $1 million a day, based on the latest gross operating loss results. Amalgamation of councils, the formation of joint organisation or shared services models are a couple of options that can potentially strengthen local council performance and operating capacity.

Amalgamation wasn’t welcome with open hands in NSW when the possibility was announced and many senior executives, mayors and councillors openly spoke up about it.  The Independent Local Government Review Panel recommended earlier this year that 105 of NSW’s 152 councils merge and that eight councils in the state’s far west should form a Far West organisation. However, only five of the state’s 152 councils have voluntarily agreed to amalgamate. Therefore the remaining councils have to illustrate that they have the appropriate scale, governance and financial sustainability to operate as a standalone council.

Nevertheless, being change ready is vital not only for local councils within NSW but all across Australia to ensure that they can meet the increasing demand for their services as the population within communities is expected to increase within the next 10-20 years.    

Akolade’s Leading Change for Sustainable Councils Conference scheduled to run on the 28th-30th October 2015 in Sydney will feature case studies from Noose Shire Council, City of Sydney, Coffs Harbour City Council, etc. on how to effectively transform your services to optimise scale and capacity.

For more details about this event, please click here for the event brochure. As media partners for this event, LG Focus members are eligible for a 10% discount off the current price to attend this conference.

 

*copy supplied by Akolade