A forum hosting over 70 leaders from metropolitan councils across Western Australia has met to identify a preferred future for the sector that may see a significant reduction in the number of council bodies.


Conducted by the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA), the forum was held to assist the association in drawing up a sector-preferred model to include in its submission to the Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel.


Forum participants considered four models ranging from a simple refinement of the current structure through to a single-council model but had a strong preference for the two models that reinforced strategic cooperation.


WALGA President Mayor Troy Pickard said the two preferred models would now be considered by the President’s Advisory Group to recommend a position for endorsement from the WALGA Zones and State Council and submission to the Panel.


"It is fair to say there was a significant diversity of opinion among the forum participants across all aspects of the review including the models that were presented and even to the need for a metropolitan review,” he said.


“There was a lot of concern about how to define a structure that deals not only with the current metropolitan population, but also has the scope and flexibility to adapt to significant population change over the next 50 years.