The need for communication and engagement reaches far beyond a council's own residents, and includes the state and federal government – which is why LG Professionals Australia has been working so hard, especially these last 12 months, to help our sector forge stronger ties in Canberra and the state capitals. Because the policies of the State and Federal Governments impact local government so significantly – we need to get a seat at the decision-making table to influence policy and legislation to protect and support our communities!
One direct example of state government policy impacting local government is the push to merge councils. This has caused considerable upheaval at the local level, especially in NSW, with some sections of the community decrying the loss of direct democracy and customised programs delivered by smaller councils. Now, with the recent personnel changes in the NSW State Government, there may well be a change in policy impacting local government.
Read more about the new Local Government Minister, Gabrielle Upton, who in the past has spoken out against amalgamations – a view in stark contrast to her predecessor Paul Toole.