The future of local government in Western Australia was the focus at the Local Government Managers Association Symposium in Perth, which was officially opened by Local Government Minister Ljiljanna Ravlich today.
The forum, entitled ‘Western Australian Local Government in 2027’, provided an opportunity for managers and elected members from local government and other interested stakeholders to receive informed feedback on a range of policy and contemporary issues likely to impact on local governments over the next 20 years.
Ms Ravlich said she believed a healthy future for the local government sector was vital to the effective governance of WA communities, as was the ongoing commitment to achieve effective co-operative federalism.
“This demands that local, state and federal governments continue to work in a co-ordinated way to deliver our citizens the best outcomes,” she said.
Ms Ravlich pointed out that Labor had tried to secure constitutional recognition for local government in 1974 and 1988 without success, and said the ALP would continue that fight into the future.
“It is my hope that we will achieve this goal many years before 2027 as I believe this will serve to strengthen our federal system,” the Minister said.
The forum examined the external forces that were likely to impact on local government over the next 20 years, with Ms Ravlich making the point that the prosperity of all levels of government would continue to remain interlinked with key trading partners.
“The reality is that by 2027, there will be changes in the rankings of the top five economies and those changes will be to our continued advantage,” Ms Ravlich said.
“Currently the top five economies are the USA, Japan, Germany, China and Britain, however in 2027, the top five economies are predicted to be China, USA, India, Japan and Mexico.
“Having three of the top five economies in our region with strong existing and rapidly expanding trade links will possibly place us in an even more robust economic position in 2027.”
Ms Ravlich warned that the global challenges over the next 20 years of oil depletion, an ageing population, land and water toxicity, maintaining and building infrastructure and climate change would also be the key local challenges faced by local government managers.
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