Paul Omodei

Paul Omodei


    Local Government Development Fund grants

    7/08/2000 10:19 AM

    The State Government has allocated $1.2 million from the Local Government Development Fund for 30 research and development projects in local government.

    A further $600,000 will be paid to local governments in the form of a $2,000 base grant and additional amounts on a per capita basis.

    Local Government Minister Paul Omodei said there had been 88 applications from local governments and industry groups for grants from the LGDF, which was funded by the State Government from its competition policy payments.

    The applications had been assessed by representatives of the Department of Local Government, State Treasury, the WA Municipal Association and the Institute of Municipal Management.

    Four projects involved groups of local governments seeking to work together to achieve better results for their residents. These were:
    • Augusta-Margaret River, Busselton and Nannup were granted $50,000 to employ a consultant to examine ways to reduce administration costs through structural reform;
    • the seven councils in the Avon Regional Organisation were allocated $40,000 to employ an IT specialist among them for the current financial year in order to assess the benefits of a permanent appointment;
    • Serpentine-Jarrahdale, Murray and Waroona were granted $10,000 for a feasibility study of a combined Ranger Service; and -
    • Chapman Valley, Mullewa and Northampton received $60,000 for a study of alternative methods of undertaking their road construction and maintenance programs.

    The committee recommended that the Department of Local Government be funded to undertake five projects of general benefit to local government. They are:
    • development of a natural disaster response and recovery guide, with particular reference to the work of building surveyors and environmental health officers. The project arose out of recent experiences in Moora, Esperance, Exmouth and Onslow;
    • a review of the adequacy of local government inspections of private swimming pool safety barriers;
    • a review of financial management reporting to enable councils to develop better financial information for immediate decisions and long term planning;
    • creation of strategies, materials, training and accreditation to improve councils’ performance in handling complaints; and -
    • development of a training video for building surveyors to illustrate how a variety of materials and construction patterns comply with the requirements of the Building Code of Australia.

    Mr Omodei said that another feature of this year’s grants were the allocations to training programs, including the creation of new councillor training modules on tendering and land use planning, seminars on native title in association with Aboriginal Land Councils and the Native Title Tribunal, and delivery of three executive leadership development programs for senior local government managers.

    Funds had been provided to ensure that training was available for councillors and staff in rural areas.

    The Local Government Community Service Association of WA had also been granted $42,500 to conduct regional training programs to improve standards of community development.

    While grants from the LGDF were $1.2 million, the total value of the projects to be undertaken was close to $2.3 million.

    Media contact: Hugh Ryan 9213 6700