Local Government Act Review
- the OLG
- the United Services Union
- the Local Government Professionals Association.
Commenced 30 August 2016
The first set of amendments commenced on 30 August 2016 and include:
- Council-elected mayors elected for two years rather than one
- Oath and affirmation required for councillors before the first meeting of council
- Councillor-elected mayors to cease to hold office if they cease to hold office as a councillor
- Clarification of how the Council structure should be determined
- Countbacks cannot be used instead of by-elections until a Regulation is made and a date prescribed
- Expenses and facilities policies to be reviewed once each term of a council rather than annually, and no longer need to be forwarded to OLG
- Remuneration Tribunal to apply the same policies on increases in remuneration as the IRC, except in certain cases
- Savings and transitional provisions, including transitional arrangements for auditors of amalgamated councils and others, etc, as they become relevant. This means that some of the Act amendments that have been commenced are actually deferred for amalgamating councils that have not yet gone to election. For example, the change to the term of the mayor from one year to two years applies from 30 August for un-amalgamated councils but does not apply until after the next election for amalgamated councils.
Commenced 23 September 2016
- New purposes of the Act
- New guiding principles for councils (in place of the Council Charter), sound financial management and IP&R
- New role statements for the governing body, mayor, and councillors
- New functions of a general manager
- Functions of administrators and interim administrators clarified, including which administrator should exercise the functions of the mayor
- Annual reporting on contracts of senior staff to council no longer required
- Changes to council delegations for tendering and the granting of financial assistance
- New regulation-making powers (for financial management and auditing, and induction courses and professional development for mayors and councillors – although the regulations themselves have not yet been made).
Commenced 1 October 2016
- Engage with councils to ensure the 'new' audit functions are well understood
- Consult with LGNSW and the sector on topics for performance audits.
- Changes to the process for reducing the number of councillors
- Changes to the circumstances in which a holder of civic office can be dismissed
- Changes to the way in which pecuniary interests are managed (including the Minister’s role), the model code of conduct and the model code of meeting practice
- Ability for council to apply to the Minister for a reduction in the number of council meetings per year
- Requirement to establish an Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee, the way in which it should operate, and an associated regulation-making power
- Streamlining of IP&R requirements in the Act and inclusion of details into the Regulation and/or IP&R Guidelines
- Financial controller provisions and changes to temporary adviser provisions
- New disciplinary options for the Civil and Administrative Tribunal re complaints against a delegate of a council.
Commenced 25 November 2016
Review of the Model Code of Conduct
The phase 1 amendments to the Local Government Act 1993 included new provisions relating to Model Code of Conduct. The existing provisions of the Act relating to the management of pecuniary interests will be incorporated into a new Code.
Review of the Model Code of Meeting Practice
The phase 1 amendments to the Local Government Act 1993 included new provisions relating to a Model Code of Meeting Practice that will be compulsory. The Code will contain mandatory and non-mandatory provisions and will be based upon the existing meeting rules prescribed in Part 10 of the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005.
- How the current meeting rules prescribed in the Regulation can be improved
- Any areas of meeting practice that are not currently prescribed that should be prescribed
- Any examples of better practice that may be incorporated in the non-mandatory provisions of the model meeting code.
Submissions and Presentations
- LGNSW's Submission on the Review of the Model Code of Conduct for Local Councils in NSW - December 2016 (PDF, 717KB)
- LGNSW's Submission to the OLG - Feedback on the Phase 1 review of the Local Government Act 1993 - March 2016 (PDF, 780KB).
Joint Organisations legislation
- Its board working committee on the Act review
- The sector in general - look out for announcements in LGNSW's Weekly newsletter
- Two reference groups formed for the purposes of seeking specific council feedback.