Western Australia Minister for Local Government John Castrilli
State Budget 2010-11: Working Together For Local Government Reform
Victor P Taffa
The Liberal-National Government has shown its strong commitment to working with local government by allocating $10.275 Million over two years in the 2010-11 State Budget to improve local government service delivery and address structural issues.
Local Government Minister John Castrilli said the State Government was implementing the Local Government Reform Strategy to secure a strong foundation for local governments in Western Australia.
“As part of this year’s Budget, $7.3 Million will support local governments undertaking amalgamations over the next two years. Ten local governments have agreed to form four entities, two of which will be completed by mid-2011.” Mr. Castrilli said.
“$1.535 Million will be directed through the Department of Local Government to build capacity to support local governments embarking on reform, particularly in the areas of strategic planning and asset management.”
“An additional $1.44 Million will provide direct financial assistance to local governments preparing Regional Business Plans as a step to amalgamation in 2013 or to help foster closer working relationships if they are in remote areas.” Mr. Castrilli said.
The Minister said 11 local governments have agreed to form four Regional Transition Groups and investigate whether amalgamation would benefit their communities.
“A further 16 local governments have agreed to form five Regional Collaborative Groups to determine the potential benefits of an extended shared service arrangement.” the Minister said.
A requirement of these groups is to develop a Regional Business Plan which enables them to undertake due diligence and determine the costs and benefits of undergoing the change.
“These plans are critical in assisting local governments to move forward with structural reform.” Mr Castrilli said.
“The Government is determined to work with local government to advance the reform process to build a strong foundation for long-term economic growth in WA.”