Hon John Castrilli MLA

Hon John Castrilli MLA

Former Minister for Local Government; Heritage; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests

    Local government to be more accountable

    30/11/2011 12:00 AM
    • Controls over local governments and elected members to be strengthened
    • Accountability for public funds to be improved
    Local Government Minister John Castrilli said key amendments to the Local Government Act 1995 would address significant governance and public administration issues in the sector.

    In other associated changes, pensioners and seniors would become eligible for State Government-funded rebates on the provision of underground power.

    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.

    Mr Castrilli said there had been extensive consultation with State Government agencies, local government and other key stakeholders in identifying the main areas of reform.

    “Strengthening the legislation under which local governments operate is critical to achieving good governance,” he said.

    The State Government recently brought new laws into operation requiring local governments to develop integrated 10-year strategic plans.  This will further build the capacity of local governments to be responsive to their communities.

    Fact File

    Minister's office  - 9213 6800