NSW Minister for Local Government Paul Toole has continued to drive long needed reform in local government with the passing today of legislation to ensure local councils work in the best interests of their communities.
Mr Toole said the Local Government Amendment (Governance and Planning) Act is the first phase of the NSW Government’s historic overhaul of local government legislation and complements the recent new integrity measures for councils.
“The legislation complements the NSW Government’s major reform initiatives such as the creation of new councils and Joint Organisations,” Mr Toole said.
“Together these changes will improve confidence in the ability of councils to deliver the services and infrastructure the community deserves.”
Mr Toole said the new legislation will:
o introduce minimum two-year terms for mayors;
o appoint the Auditor-General as the auditor of all councils;
o allow for the appointment of a financial controller to councils at risk;
o clarify roles and responsibilities of councillors, mayors, administrators and general managers;
o improve governance of councils and professional development for councillors;
o consolidate the ethical conduct obligations of councillors;
o enhance the framework for strategic business planning and reporting; and
o streamline council administrative processes.
“The reforms have been developed following four years of consultation with councils, business and the community,” Mr Toole said.
“The NSW Government is committed to working with all stakeholders to shape a new, stronger local government sector and we will continue working closely with the sector as the Government develops future phases of reform to the Local Government Act.”