SCTRUCTURAL REFORM OF COUNCILS

Final Report of the NSW Independent Local Government Review Panel – Revitalising Local Government

This recent report identifies that the NSW Government is trying to achieve structural reform of Local Government which has become moribund. Two alternatives are being considered: status quo of many Councils or amalgamations. Based on published reports the preference is clearly for Council amalgamations.

Some of the changes proposed in the report include:

  1. Councils to undertake regular reviews covering matters such asnumber of Councilors; method of election and use/number of Wards.
  2. Require all potential Councillors to have undertaken orientation.
  3. Amend legislation to expand the role and responsibilities of Councillors. A rather surprising aspect of these changes is that Councillors will only be required to “ensure as far as possible the financial sustainability of the Council” Mayors would also be given the power to nominate their Deputy. (It appears generally that the role of Deputy Mayor will be expanded. A long overdue reform).
  4. Provide for full-time Mayors (and perhaps full-time Deputy Mayors).
  5. Direct election of Mayor. (This is already the case in Willoughby)Final Report of the NSW Independent Local Government Review Panel – Revitalising Local Government
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