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. Councilin 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

Latest News and Updates

  • Warringah submissions on local government reform

    Warringah continues to be active in its dialogue with the State government on how to strengthen local government for a sustainable future.

    In February 2012 we made a submission on the government's plans for reforms, as laid out in the draft Destination 2036 Action Plan.  The Action Plan was then finalised in June 2012.

    In September we made a submission on the Independent Local Government Review Panel's first discussion paper "Strengthening Your Community" .

    In December 2012 we also made a submission to the Review of the Local Government Act, in response to the Taskforce's Preliminary Ideas paper.

    Through this reform process a number of further papers and reports will be released by the various bodies involved, and Warringah continues to be active in these consultations:

    This diagram gives an overview of how these three bodies are all working together in the reform process through 2012 and 2013.  For more background see page 13 of the Destination 2036 Action Plan.

    by Project Manager 06 Dec 2012, 01:02 PM
  • Review of ROCs and local government legislation

    The NSW Government recently commenced two reviews, as part of the Destination 2036 Action Plan:

    Review of Regional Organisation of Councils (ROCs): an independent consultant is undertaking research and interviews of 10 ROCs around the State, and with Warringah Council's Executive.  This will be used to develop a paper on options and models to strengthen the role of ROCs, due for release in November 2012 by the Independent Local Government Review Panel. See here for more on the Panel's work

    Review of the Local Government Act: The newly-formed Local Government Acts Taskforce will consider how the legislation needs to be strengthened, streamlined and modernised to ensure that local government can meet the needs of the community. A Preliminary Ideas Paper has been released, and you can provide comment by the 21 December.  The Taskforce will work closely with the Independent Local Government Review Panel, and report to the Minister by September 2013.  See here for more on the Taskforce.

    The need for changes to the Act was reinforced by the recent Auditor-General's Report: Monitoring Local Government.  It highlights the need to improve the provisions covering financial management and accountability, performance monitoring of service delivery, and councillor conduct.  It also highlights the need for the Division of Local Government to introduce better systems for the oversight of councils.  Warringah is one of the few councils that exceeds the requirements for accountability, by having its budget independently audited every year.

    by Project Manager 03 Oct 2012, 05:12 PM
  • Independent Local Government Review Panel

    The NSW Government released a final Destination 2036 Action Plan for local government reform in June 2012 and formed an Independent Local Government Review Panel.

    See the library for the latest documents. A community consultation paper was released by the Panel, 'Strengthening Your Community' - to have your say by 14 September 2012 on proposals for change in NSW,  go to www.localgovernmentreview.nsw.gov.au.

    by Site Co-ordinator 03 Sep 2012, 03:45 PM
  • Update from State Government: Modernisation Of Local Government Legislation

    The State government recently established the Local Government Acts Taskforce.  Its purpose is to review the legislation supporting local government and recommend changes consistent with the government's ongoing reforms.  The Taskforce will consult the community and work closely with the Independent Local Government Review Panel.

    More information is provided in a recent circular from the Division of Local Government.  Click here to view the circular dated 27 August 2012.

    If you have any queries please contact by email at dlg@dlg.nsw.gov.au or by phone on (02) 4428 4100.

    Circulars to Councils are also available on Division's web page at http://www.dlg.nsw.gov.au.


    by Site Co-ordinator 03 Sep 2012, 03:31 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 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
  • Submission to NSW Government on Destination 2036 draft Action Plan

    The NSW Government's draft Action Plan for local government reform outlines a vision and over 40 Activities, all encompassed by 5 Directions:

    • Efficient & Effective Service Delivery
    • Quality Governance
    • Financial Sustainability
    • Appropriate Structures
    • Strong Relationships

    Warringah Council endorsed its submission to the government on 14 February, which largely supports the draft Action Plan and suggests some changes to better meet the needs of local government into the future. For updates on what the NSW Government is doing go to their Destination 2036 site.

    by Project Manager 16 Mar 2012, 09:49 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 Independant 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
  • Council report on Community Consultation - Local Government Reform

    summary report went to Council on Tuesday 13 December on the results of stakeholder consultation on local government reform, as well as the NSW government's reform process (Destination 2036).  This follows a 2-month exhibition of Warringah's discussion paper, an online survey, discussion forum, focus groups and the receipt of submissions.

    The main outcomes of Warringah's consultation are:
    1.  Strong acceptance that the current model for local government is not sustainable.
    2.  Strong support from the community and other councils for more shared services.
    3.  A good level of support from the community for a single Council for the Peninsula. Most popular was the 
         Warringah-Pittwater-Manly combination. Neighbouring councils oppose any consolidation/ amalgamation.
    4.  Overall opposition to a single large regional council (of 7 councils).

    Click here for the detailed report on Warringah's consultation, including the focus group report.

    Update 14/12/11:
    Council resolved on 13 December to:
    - Note the results of Warringah's stakeholder consultation; and
    - Prepare a submission to the government on its Destination 2036 draft Action Plan. This submission will be the subject of a separate report to Council on 14 February 2012.

    by Project Manager 12 Dec 2011, 05:04 PM
  • NSW government releases draft Action Plan for local government reform

    The NSW government has released its Destination 2036 draft Action Plan for local government, based on research and consultation with the sector.  This plan helps set a roadmap for reform for the next 25 years. It has 5 key initiatives to help ensure the sustainability and effectiveness of local government in serving our communities:

         - Efficient and Effective Service Delivery
         - Quality Governance
         - Financial Sustainability
         - Appropriate Structures
         - Strong Relationships

    All councils can examine and comment on the draft plan, with comments closing on 15 February. Community members can also send comments on the plan to Destination2036@dlg.nsw.gov.au

    by Project Manager 07 Dec 2011, 10:17 AM
  • 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 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