Local Government Review Panel

The NSW Government released its response to the Independent Local Government Review Panel's Report Revitalising Local Government on 10 September 2014.
 
The NSW Government’s package centres on the concept of 'Fit for the Future'. While the significant incentives for mergers are capturing the headlines, there are a raft of other initiatives.
 
On 10 September 2014, Local Government NSW sent mayors and general managers an initial briefing (PDF, 265KB) on the NSW Government’s response to the Independent Local Government Review Panel (ILGRP). 
 
Full details of the NSW Government package are available at: http://www.fitforthefuture.nsw.gov.au/.

Background

In March 2012 the Minister for Local Government announced the establishment of the ILGRP.
 
The panel investigated and identified options for governance models, structural arrangements and boundary changes for NSW Local Government, taking into account:
 
  • Community needs
  • Service and infrastructure issues
  • Financial viability
  • Representation questions
  • Barriers and incentives for change.
 
LGNSW supported the need for the panel, flowing from and accelerating parts of the Destination 2036 Action Plan.
 
We maintained close contact with Professor Sansom, Ms Munro and Mr Inglis to ensure our input at critical points of the ILGRP process.
 
The panel systematically examined a wide range of issues relating to Local Government reform and consulted on a series of papers in the course of its work. These papers were:
 
  • Your Community - NSW Independent Local Government Review Panel - Consultation Paper
  • Better, Stronger Local Government - The Case for Sustainable Change
  • Future Directions for NSW Local Government – Twenty Essential Steps.
 
To ensure Local Government NSW’s submission to the panel’s Future Directions paper accurately reflected the views of its members, LGNSW held a forum for mayors, councillors and general managers on 28 June 2013. 
 
The Minister released the ILGRP's Report Revitalising Local Government in January 2014. 
 
In early 2014, LGNSW made its final submission (PDF, 603KB) on the ILGRP's final report.
 

Submissions

LGNSW submission to the Independent Local Government Review Panel's Revitalising Local Government - April 2014 (PDF, 603KB)

LGNSW submission to the Independent Local Government Review Panel's Future Directions for NSW Local Government - 20 Essential Steps - July 2013 (PDF, 107KB)

LGNSW Feedback on Better, Stronger Local Government - The Case for Sustainable Change - April 2013 (PDF, 21KB)

Submission to the Independent Local Government Review Panel’s Strengthening Your Community - September 2012 (PDF, 268KB)

Terms of Reference

Overview

Following the approach from the LGSA, the NSW Minister for Local Government has agreed to appoint a three member panel to develop options to improve the strength and effectiveness of Local Government in NSW. The review will drive key strategic directions identified in the Destination 2036 initiative and support the broader objectives of the State as outlined in NSW 2021: A Plan to Make NSW Number One (the State Plan).

The panel will investigate and identify options for governance models, structural arrangements and boundary changes for Local Government in NSW, taking into consideration:

  • Ability to support the current and future needs of local communities.
  • Ability to deliver services and infrastructure efficiently effectively and in a timely manner.
  • The financial sustainability of each Local Government area.
  • Ability for local representation and decision making.
  • Barriers and incentives to encourage voluntary boundary changes. The panel will be comprised of three members, chaired by Professor Graham Sansom and is expected to report to the Minister by 12 to 14 months from the start of the review.

Other Considerations

In conducting the review the panel will:

  • Ensure recommendations meet the different nature and needs of regional, rural and metropolitan communities.
  • Consult widely with the broader community and key stakeholders.
  • Take into account the work completed, and future work to be completed, under the Destination 2036 initiative.
  • Take into account the broader interests of the State including as outlined in the State Plan.
  • Consider the experiences of other jurisdictions in both the nature and implementation of Local Government reform.
  • Take into account the Liberal-National’s 2011 election policy of no forced amalgamations.
To support the above the panel may commission appropriate investigations and research consistent with the intent of the review.