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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Targeted review of the Local Government Act 1993

Background

The Minister for Planning and Local Government announced the targeted review at the Local Government Association Tasmania’s (LGAT) annual conference in July 2015. The Terms of Reference of the review were endorsed by the Premier’s Local Government Council in December 2015.

A Steering Committee was established to undertake the review and released a discussion paper in April 2016. In September 2016, the Steering Committee prepared a consultation feedback report that included a number of recommendations to the Minister.

A draft version of the Local Government Amendment (Targeted Review) Bill 2017 (the Bill) was released for public consultation in March 2017. In late 2017, the Bill passed through both houses of Parliament, and received Royal Assent on 22 November 2017.

A copy of the Local Government Amendment (Targeted Review) Act 2017 is available for download.

The key changes to the Act

Some of the key changes to the Local Government Act 1993 include:

  • amendments to the functions of the mayor to clarify the focus and responsibilities of this leadership role and distinguish it from that of other elected members;
  • the introduction of Performance Improvement Directions – a tool to require a council, a councillor or some councillors to take, refrain from taking or cease taking action to improve their performance with respect to statutory compliance;
  • the introduction of Ministerial Orders to clarify the functions of mayor, councillors and general managers, which require consultation with the sector and are subject to disallowance by Parliament;
  • a clear process and options for councils for appointing an acting general manager that reflects what is already occurring in the sector;
  • amendments to ensure that members of an audit panel are now subject to the conflict of interest provisions, confidentiality requirements and misuse of information under the Act;
  • the inclusion of electoral advertising on the internet; and
  • a head of power requiring councils to keep a gifts and donations register.

Further information on the changes to the Act is provided in the information sheet Local Government Amendment (Targeted Review) Act 2017 – December 2017.

For further enquiries about the changes, please contact the Local Government Division on 03 6232 7022 or by email to lgd@dpac.tas.gov.au.