Local Government Reform

Warringah Council has commissioned a number of reports to inform the debate on local government reform.

For State Government Initiatives on Local Government Reform - see the news items below.

We want to know what you think of the future of local government in the region. Council in 2011, commissioned a discussion paper that made a strong argument for council amalgamation and shared services.

The paper by internationally-recognised expert in local government reform, Peter McKinlay, has recommended several ways that local councils can share resources to improve services and be able to better deal with the complex....Read more

Warringah Council has commissioned a number of reports to inform the debate on local government reform.

For State Government Initiatives on Local Government Reform - see the news items below.

We want to know what you think of the future of local government in the region. Council in 2011, commissioned a discussion paper that made a strong argument for council amalgamation and shared services.

The paper by internationally-recognised expert in local government reform, Peter McKinlay, has recommended several ways that local councils can share resources to improve services and be able to better deal with the complex issues now facing local government. The paper has also been peer-reviewed by the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government.

For a six page summary see the executive summary. For Options maps, population and further reading, see the Library tab. Submissions, the discussion forum and online survey closed in October 2011.  For an outline of community feedback on the paper, see the Council report from 2011. 

Latest News and Updates

  • "Fit for the Future" NSW Government Announcement

    Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Local Government Paul Toole announced on 10 September 2014 record funding of up to $1 billion to ensure NSW has strong councils under the Fit for the Future package. The package includes $258 million to assist councils who decide to merge - $153 million for Sydney councils and $105 million for regional councils.

    Former Premier Barry O’Farrell made a 2011 election pledge of no forced amalgamations, so none of the mergers would be forced. But the state’s 152 councils will be given financial and governance incentives to merge under a plan passed this morning. For more information.

    Previous reports include:

    Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Local Government Paul Toole announced on 10 September 2014 record funding of up to $1 billion to ensure NSW has strong councils under the Fit for the Future package. The package includes $258 million to assist councils who decide to merge - $153 million for Sydney councils and $105 million for regional councils.

    Former Premier Barry O’Farrell made a 2011 election pledge of no forced amalgamations, so none of the mergers would be forced. But the state’s 152 councils will be given financial and governance incentives to merge under a plan passed this morning. For more information.

    Previous reports include:

    by Site Co-ordinator 11 Sep 2014, 01:32 PM
  • Warringah submissions on reforms

    In response to two final reports on the proposed reforms for local government, Warringah provided detailed submissions to the State Government in March 2014. While most of the reports' recommendations were supported or conditionally supported, Warringah had strong reservations about Joint Organisations as they are currently proposed.

    View Council's response to the Panel Report 

    View Council's response to the Taskforce Report

    Council also considered ideas for future regional partnerships with other northern Sydney councils at its March meeting (Agenda item 8.5).  The final Council resolution included in-principle support for a Council of Mayors model for collaboration in the wider region.

    The State government has not yet released its position on the reform package - see the Office of Local Government for more.

    All the reform reports and submissions are in the Document Library to the right, but if you would like to know more please contact Council on 9942 2846.

    In response to two final reports on the proposed reforms for local government, Warringah provided detailed submissions to the State Government in March 2014. While most of the reports' recommendations were supported or conditionally supported, Warringah had strong reservations about Joint Organisations as they are currently proposed.

    View Council's response to the Panel Report 

    View Council's response to the Taskforce Report

    Council also considered ideas for future regional partnerships with other northern Sydney councils at its March meeting (Agenda item 8.5).  The final Council resolution included in-principle support for a Council of Mayors model for collaboration in the wider region.

    The State government has not yet released its position on the reform package - see the Office of Local Government for more.

    All the reform reports and submissions are in the Document Library to the right, but if you would like to know more please contact Council on 9942 2846.

    by Project Manager 02 Sep 2014, 11:26 AM
  • Deadline for submissions to the State Government has been extended

    The deadline for comments on the State government's reforms has been extended to Friday 4 April 2014. This includes comments on the final reports of both the Independent Local Government Review Panel and the Local Government Acts Taskforce

    Details of how to make a submission to the State government are available on the Division of Local Government’s website.

    Warringah's submission to the Taskforce will be considered by Council at its meeting of 25 February 2014.

    The deadline for comments on the State government's reforms has been extended to Friday 4 April 2014. This includes comments on the final reports of both the Independent Local Government Review Panel and the Local Government Acts Taskforce

    Details of how to make a submission to the State government are available on the Division of Local Government’s website.

    Warringah's submission to the Taskforce will be considered by Council at its meeting of 25 February 2014.

    by Project Manager 18 Feb 2014, 04:52 PM
  • Release of reports by NSW Government

    The final reports of the Independent Local Government Review Panel and the Local Government Acts Taskforce have been released.

     The NSW Government will consider the final reports over the coming months and prepare its response. Councils and community members can provide comment to the Government by Friday 7th March 2014.

    The final reports of the Independent Local Government Review Panel and the Local Government Acts Taskforce have been released.

     The NSW Government will consider the final reports over the coming months and prepare its response. Councils and community members can provide comment to the Government by Friday 7th March 2014.

    by Project Manager 10 Jan 2014, 04:18 PM
  • Final SGS report released on options for our region

    Following community consultation, Council has finalised the SGS report "Local Government Structural Change - Options Analysis" . The final report includes responses to the community feedback, and further explanations of the methodology and assumptions used. (Resolved at Council meeting of 27 August 2013 (Agenda item 8.5)

    One of the main findings of the report is that by combining councils, the community would benefit from massive savings as well as improved local democracy and control, by introducing Local Community Boards.  Merging Pittwater, Manly and Warringah into one council would improve service standards and save the community around $375m over 10 years.  The report....Read more

    Following community consultation, Council has finalised the SGS report "Local Government Structural Change - Options Analysis" . The final report includes responses to the community feedback, and further explanations of the methodology and assumptions used. (Resolved at Council meeting of 27 August 2013 (Agenda item 8.5)

    One of the main findings of the report is that by combining councils, the community would benefit from massive savings as well as improved local democracy and control, by introducing Local Community Boards.  Merging Pittwater, Manly and Warringah into one council would improve service standards and save the community around $375m over 10 years.  The report also looks at other options and assesses both financial and social benefits.

    Warringah is inviting surrounding councils to discuss the report's findings and options for the future across the broader region.

    by Project Manager 10 Sep 2013, 10:43 AM
  • Comment on research on community governance of larger councils

    How can larger councils retain community identity?  Can they represent their community well and be democratically accountable?  Can they delegate some service delivery?  This research paper on "Community-Level Governance" looks at local and overseas examples of solutions such as Local Boards, Community Boards and Parish Councils.

    Commissioned by the Independent Local Government Review Panel, the paper is open for comment to the Panel by 20 August 2013. Click here for more information on the Panel's research and contact details (send your comments to info@localgovernmentreview.nsw.gov.au).

    How can larger councils retain community identity?  Can they represent their community well and be democratically accountable?  Can they delegate some service delivery?  This research paper on "Community-Level Governance" looks at local and overseas examples of solutions such as Local Boards, Community Boards and Parish Councils.

    Commissioned by the Independent Local Government Review Panel, the paper is open for comment to the Panel by 20 August 2013. Click here for more information on the Panel's research and contact details (send your comments to info@localgovernmentreview.nsw.gov.au).

    by Project Manager 02 Aug 2013, 03:20 PM
  • Draft report on future options open for comment - local government structural change

    Council is considering a draft independent report by SGS Economics and Planning, which reviews the options for structural change to local government in the region. The report looks at essential elements for effective local government and weights these to determine a preferred option. These elements are:
    • Local representation, including the use of Local/Community Boards 
    • Communities of interest and local identity
    • Strategic capacity
    • Asset and infrastructure provision
    • Financial capacity
    • Service provision
    • Potential efficiency savings eg. a single northern beaches council would yield savings around $375m over 10 years

    The report's Executive Summary gives a quick....Read more

    Council is considering a draft independent report by SGS Economics and Planning, which reviews the options for structural change to local government in the region. The report looks at essential elements for effective local government and weights these to determine a preferred option. These elements are:
    • Local representation, including the use of Local/Community Boards 
    • Communities of interest and local identity
    • Strategic capacity
    • Asset and infrastructure provision
    • Financial capacity
    • Service provision
    • Potential efficiency savings eg. a single northern beaches council would yield savings around $375m over 10 years

    The report's Executive Summary gives a quick overview in 3 pages
    Chapter 2 summarises the options
    Chapter 3 examines the wider region and what we have in common
    Chapter 4 looks at improving local representation by introducing Local Boards
    Chapters 5 and 6 compare the finances of councils and future options
    Chapter 7 assesses the options against essential elements of good local government.

    Council is seeking public comment before finalising the report. Click here to provide your views on the draft report (up to 500 words per question) or mail a submission to Warringah Council, 725 Pittwater Rd Dee Why 2099, Attn: Strategic Planning.

    Comments close on Wednesday 31 July.  The results of this consultation will be reported to Council on 27 August 2013. 

    by Project Manager 01 Jul 2013, 02:21 PM
  • Warringah submissions and independant report released

    Council approved two submissions on local government reform at its recent meeting 25 June 2013.  The submissions to the Local Government Acts Taskforce and the Independent Local Government Review Panel can be viewed in the library tab on the right.  Click here for a short overview of the Panel's options for structuring local government on the northern beaches. Our submission to the Panel outlines our support for a range of reforms, including how how Local Boards and amalgamation could improve local democracy and services on the northern beaches.

    At the same meeting Council also considered an independent report by SGS Economics and Planning,....Read more

    Council approved two submissions on local government reform at its recent meeting 25 June 2013.  The submissions to the Local Government Acts Taskforce and the Independent Local Government Review Panel can be viewed in the library tab on the right.  Click here for a short overview of the Panel's options for structuring local government on the northern beaches. Our submission to the Panel outlines our support for a range of reforms, including how how Local Boards and amalgamation could improve local democracy and services on the northern beaches.

    At the same meeting Council also considered an independent report by SGS Economics and Planning, which reviewed the cost-benefit of a number of options for structural change to local government in the region, including:

    • Current local government boundaries continued
    • Amalgamation of Manly, Pittwater, and Warringah councils
    • Amalgamation of Manly, Mosman, Pittwater and Warringah councils
    • Amalgamation of Manly, Pittwater, and Warringah, Ku-ring-gai and Hornsby councils

    Council resolved that the draft preliminary report be placed on display (Agenda item 5.5).  This report is currently available online and will be open for public comment shortly.

    by Project Manager 28 Jun 2013, 05:07 PM
  • Final Discussion papers released from the NSW Government

    Two final discussion papers on local government reform in NSW have recently been released, and are open for comment to the State Government until Friday 28 June 2013:

    "Future Directions for NSW Local Government: 20 Essential Steps", by the Independent Local Government Review Panel. This takes a strategic outlook, focussing on big picture solutions:

    • Improving financial sustainability
    • Addressing the infrastructure backlog
    • Structural change: amalgamations, county councils and boundary changes
    • Improving governance
    • Improving productivity and services

    The Panel will be holding a Community Hearing on these proposals at the Civic Centre, Dee Why from 5-7pm on Tuesday....Read more

    Two final discussion papers on local government reform in NSW have recently been released, and are open for comment to the State Government until Friday 28 June 2013:

    "Future Directions for NSW Local Government: 20 Essential Steps", by the Independent Local Government Review Panel. This takes a strategic outlook, focussing on big picture solutions:

    • Improving financial sustainability
    • Addressing the infrastructure backlog
    • Structural change: amalgamations, county councils and boundary changes
    • Improving governance
    • Improving productivity and services

    The Panel will be holding a Community Hearing on these proposals at the Civic Centre, Dee Why from 5-7pm on Tuesday 4th June, for the northern beaches community.  For details on the Hearing and to make a submission click here

    "A New Local Government Act for NSW", by the Local Government Acts Taskforce.
    This focuses on the detailed legislative changes that are needed to improve the governance and financial sustainability of local government. The Taskforce is holding a workshop on the afternoon of Monday 6 May in Pymble for interested parties. For more information or to make a submission click here.

    Warringah is actively involved in reviewing these papers and preparing submissions from the Council, which will be referred to the elected Council at the meeting of Tuesday 25th June 2013. Click on these links for draft submissions to the Taskforce (Agenda item 8.2) and the Panel. (item 8.3)

    by Project Manager 29 Apr 2013, 05:02 PM
  • The Case for Sustainable Change - Review Panel's second discussion paper

    In November the Independent Local Government Review Panel released its second paper "Better, Stronger Local Government - The Case for Sustainable Change", which is open for comment until 22 March 2013.  The paper is the result of research and extensive consultation across the State, and will lead to more workshops, focus groups and meetings in the coming months.  The paper sets out the Panel's current thinking on some key aspects of strengthening local government:

    • Improving the system of local government
    • Facing the challenges
    • Improving financial management
    • Better infrastructure and services
    • Matching structures and boundaries
    • Securing good governance
    • State-local government relations

    Although the ideas of boundary changes and amalgamation are raised in chapter 6, the paper has no proposals, maps or short lists.  It raises a number of factors to consider in regards to any such change, highlighting that particularly in the Sydney Region there is a 'case to consider significant consolidation to enhance the strategic capacity of local government'.

    Following further studies and consultations, the Panel’s third paper “Future Directions” will be released in March 2013 – this will likely include recommended changes and models for the future. For more on the Panel, its consultations and how to make a submission click here.

    In November the Independent Local Government Review Panel released its second paper "Better, Stronger Local Government - The Case for Sustainable Change", which is open for comment until 22 March 2013.  The paper is the result of research and extensive consultation across the State, and will lead to more workshops, focus groups and meetings in the coming months.  The paper sets out the Panel's current thinking on some key aspects of strengthening local government:

    • Improving the system of local government
    • Facing the challenges
    • Improving financial management
    • Better infrastructure and services
    • Matching structures and boundaries
    • Securing good governance
    • State-local government relations

    Although the ideas of boundary changes and amalgamation are raised in chapter 6, the paper has no proposals, maps or short lists.  It raises a number of factors to consider in regards to any such change, highlighting that particularly in the Sydney Region there is a 'case to consider significant consolidation to enhance the strategic capacity of local government'.

    Following further studies and consultations, the Panel’s third paper “Future Directions” will be released in March 2013 – this will likely include recommended changes and models for the future. For more on the Panel, its consultations and how to make a submission click here.

    by Project Manager 06 Dec 2012, 02:14 PM