The Western Australian Government has introduced legislation that aims to allow local communities to have a greater say in neighbourhood development and long term strategic planning.


The integrated strategic planning framework, including community strategic plans, has been introduced as a legislative requirement with Local Governments.


Western Australian Local Government Association President Mayor Troy Pickard said Local Governments fully supported the planning framework, with its genesis in the sector’s own reform process through their Systemic Sustainability Study.


“Councils’ integrated strategic planning includes a thorough community engagement process to establish a community strategic plan for a 10 to 20 year horizon,” Mayor Pickard said.


“It lays out the needs and priorities of the community, from which shorter-term corporate business plans are constructed; articulating asset management, financial and workforce plans for the organisation including resourcing requirements.


“This process is constructed around a deep community engagement process that seeks genuine input from the community and the long range planning will assist Councils in their annual budgeting and day-to day operations.”


Mayor Pickard said many Local Governments were already advanced in introducing the process, and were using a number of methods to gather input from local communities.


“From conducting surveys and public meetings to communicating through social media, newsletters, local newspapers and direct with Elected Members, Local Governments are getting in touch with their communities and engaging with them in meaningful and purposeful way as they prepare their long term strategic plans,” Mayor Pickard said.


“This demonstrates how Local Governments are driving sector reform in a practical manner and engaging communities in local decision making. 


“I’m not aware of any other sphere of government or agency that is undertaking similar long term strategic planning or engaging with the Western Australian community to such an extent.”