A high independent panel has been appointed by the WA Government to recommend appropriate boundaries and governance models for local governments in the Perth metropolitan area.


The panel will be chaired by Professor Alan Robson, vice chancellor of The University of Western Australia.  Other members are Dr Peter Tannock, former vice chancellor of the University of Notre Dame Australia and Dr Sue van Leeuwen, chief executive officer of Leadership WA.


The review’s terms of reference are:


  • Identify current and anticipated specific regional, social, environmental and economic issues affecting, or likely to affect, the growth of metropolitan Perth in the next 50 years
  • Identify current and anticipated national and international factors likely to impact in the next 50 years
  • Research improved local government structures, and governance models and structures for the Perth metropolitan area, drawing on national and international experience and examining key issues relating to community representation, engagement, accountability and State imperatives among other things the panel may identify during the course of the review
  • Identify new local government boundaries and a resultant reduction in the overall number of local governments to better meet the needs of the community
  • Prepare options to establish the most effective local government structures and governance models that take into account matters identified through the review including, but not limited to, community engagement, patterns of demographic change, regional and State growth and international factors which are likely to impact
  • Present a limited list of achievable options together with a recommendation on the preferred option.


The panel is to submit recommendations to the WA Government by June 2012 on optimal local government structures or governance, resulting in the drawing of new local government boundaries.


The panel has been asked to directly engage with the Perth community, local governments, peak bodies, and government agencies and departments.


Two advisory groups will provide expert advice to the panel.  One would consist of the directors general of the departments of Local Government and Planning. The president and vice-president of the Western Australian Local Government Association would also be invited to advise the panel.