WA introduces legislative changes for local government

By Shannon Jenkins

Tuesday February 2, 2021


Legislative changes that require local governments in Western Australia to comply with minimum standards covering the recruitment, selection, performance review and early termination of chief executive officers have come into effect.

Announced by local government minister David Templeman on Monday, the changes have also introduced a mandatory code of conduct for council members, committee members and candidates, and require local governments to prepare and adopt a code of conduct for employees as soon as possible.

The new regulations are the Local Government (Administration) Amendment Regulations 2021; Local Government (Model Code of Conduct) Regulations 2021; and the Local Government Regulations Amendment (Employee Code of Conduct) Regulations 2021.

The legislation was developed following consultation with the local government sector in 2019 and 2020, and the release of a final report on the recommended changes. It has brought into effect the remaining parts of the Local Government Legislation Amendment Act 2019. Universal training for candidates and council members and a new gift framework had already been introduced under the Amendment Act.

Templeman said the WA government has been aiming to transform local government by building the capacity of the sector.

“These legislative changes are another step on the road to enabling local governments to modernise and deliver good governance for their communities, now and into the future,” he said.

“We will continue to work with the sector to make changes that enable local governments to operate more efficiently, and in tune with what WA’s communities expect from them.”

The McGowan government announced a review of the Local Government Act 1995 in 2017, to modernise and empower local government to deliver for the community.

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