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Ben
post Feb 19 2009, 09:57 AM
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Local Government Reform Steering Committee.

The steering committee, set up by Local Government Minister John Castrilli will to progress reform and improve sustainability in the local government sector. “The meeting was productive and all members demonstrated willingness to assist the local government sector with the reform process,” Mr Day said. “I appreciate that the committee has accepted this challenging task so positively.” During the meeting the committee agreed to ensure regular communication with local governments and other stakeholders on progress with the reform process.

The the acting WA government minister for Local Government said an important first task was for the committee to prepare guiding principles to assist local governments in fulfilling the ministers request for voluntary amalgamation proposals by August 2009. The guidelines, which will detail the process for developing amalgamation proposals, including timelines and the content of a proposal, are expected to be finalised by the end of February.

Mr Day said there would be safeguards in place for employees affected by any future local government amalgamations. “The provisions of the ‘Local Government Act 1995’ relating to guaranteed employment of staff for up to two years following a structural change will continue to apply,” he said.

The Minister also reaffirmed the Western Australian Local Government Grants Commission’s current policy. “The combined general purpose grant to newly amalgamated councils will be increased every year, for a period of five years, by the annual percentage increase in the pool of funds provided to Western Australia by the Federal Government. This will ensure that local governments that amalgamate will not be disadvantaged," Mr Day said. During its first meeting, the committee stressed that it had no pre-determined outcomes, in terms of the final number of local governments, it expected to result from the reform process. It also indicated that regional groupings, as promoted under the Country Local Government Fund, would be a feature of the new structural environment.


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Ben, Skype "Perth-", Western Australia
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