The Western Australian Government has announced key amendments to the Local Government Act 1995 that aims to address ‘significant’ governance and public administration issues in the sector.

The amendments sought to improve the standard, performance and calibre of local governments and its elected members and contribute to the best possible services being provided to metropolitan and regional Western Australian communities.

The key amendments would:

  • disqualify council members from office if elected to State Parliament or they are convicted of a major crime
  • extend the Salaries and Allowances Tribunal’s power to make determinations on the levels of local government chief executive officer salaries and remuneration
  • include a new power for the Salaries and Allowances Tribunal to set the levels of fees and allowances paid to council members
  • regulate the types of investments in which local government may invest
  • enable the Minister to suspend a council for up to six months and/or require members of a council to undertake remedial action where a council has become dysfunctional.

The Western Australian Government has announced the appointment of the inaugural board of the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA), the new body which will be responsible for major redevelopments within the Perth metropolitan area, including the Perth City Link, Perth Waterfront, Riverside and the revitalisation of the Perth Cultural Centre.

The Northern Territory Government has announced changes to the Local Government (Electoral) Regulations to change the vote counting system to the Single Transferable Vote Proportional Representation (STVPR) system.

The Local Government and Shires Association of New South Wales (LGSA) has held the 14th annual Local Government Excellence in Environment Awards, recognising the excellent conduct of 49 councils across 12 categories.

The New South Wales State Government has released a public discussion paper on whether NSW Members of Parliament should be serving concurrently as local councillors or mayors.

The Victorian Government has announced a $2.8 million Council Planning Flying Squad initiative. The initiative will consist of planning specialists to assist regional and rural councils by providing short-term expertise and assistance to ease the backlog of planning requests.

The Federal Government has announced the formation a new Murray-Darling Basin Diversification Project aimed at promoting economic opportunities for communities affected by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s Basin Plan.

The South Australian Ombudsman has published a report into the state of complaint handling in South Australian councils.

The South Australian Government has announced plans to revitilise the state’s capital, focusing on filling laneways and empty buildings in the city’s north.

Australia’s state ministers for Local Government have met in Canberra at the inaugural Local Government Ministers’ Forum.

More than 300 elected representatives and other local government officials from across Australia have united at the National Local Roads and Transport Congress in Mount Gambier to pass a resolution calling on the Federal Government to continue the Roads to Recovery program on a permanent basis and increase funding to recognise a massive shortfall in expenditure.

The Australian Government has commissioned Ernst and Young to conduct a review of infrastructure financing to identify new ways of unlocking investment dollars for  local infrastructure needs.

The New South Wales Division of Local Government (DLG) has announced the first workshop on the division Model Code of Conduct reform proposal.

A survey commissioned by the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) shows that the state's councils are leading the country in terms of economic and regional investment.

The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) has called for the State Government to place greater emphasis on supporting community resilience to improve safety outcomes, and more shared regional planning in dealing with natural disasters.

The Tasmanian Government has tabled legislation before State Parliament that aims to increase transparency and certainty for local government rates in Tasmania.

The Southern Tasmanian Councils Authority (STCA) has released a final report into the future options for local government in southern Tasmania.

The Victorian Government has called for more women to consider nominating themselves for council elections in 2012.

The Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government has released a draft working paper, 'Local Government and Community Engagement in Australia', providing a national update on what is taking place across the local government sector in relation to community engagement, and identifies ongoing challenges and questions for councils in engaging communities.

The South Australian Government has announced the formation of a new urban development authority which will be tasked with overseeing all urban renewal projects from their outset.

The City of Sydney has become Australia’s first carbon-neutral council after achieving formal certification from its greenhouse reduction programs.

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