Laws introduced in NSW last week allow the state to gather more information to identify dysfunction in councils.February 27, 2013 4:33am
New laws in NSW give the State Government the power to nip ‘dysfunctional’ councils in the bud.
Local Government Minister Don Page last week gave notice in parliament of the new laws, which allow the state to gather information from councils to identify dysfunction, new powers to issue a ‘performance improvement order’ and the power to suspend a council for up to three months with the possibility of extension.
Mr Page said while most councils performed to the high ethical standards their communities expected, a minority of councils and councillors had failed to meet their obligations, resulting in services being held up or grinding to a halt.
‘‘We need to be able to nip these problems in the bud — and this legislation will enable that,’’ Mr Page said.
‘‘It is unacceptable that services including planning approvals and basic maintenance are put in limbo because of council infighting, councillors indulging in personal vendettas or petty political squabbles.’’
At present, the Local Government Act does not contain a power to suspend whole councils but provides for a public inquiry and the subsequent dismissal of council by the Governor following that inquiry.
It is a costly process which could take up to 18 months, Mr Page said.
He said the new laws would act as a powerful deterrent against misbehaviour and would save NSW taxpayers millions of dollars.
‘‘Put simply, the proposal could be characterised as a time-out and it puts councils on notice to concentrate on delivering basic services to the community,’’ he said.
He said a key part of the reforms was the performance improvement order.
‘‘If the PIO is adhered to, that is the end of the matter,’’ he said.
‘‘However, if the PIO is ignored, the government has the power to suspend a council for up to three months while the situation is rectified by an administrator.’’
The power to suspend a whole council exists in a number of other jurisdictions, including Western Australia and Queensland.
Shepparton East people are being invited to play a role in shaping their community.
Yarrawonga’s Bre Elliott played the most “consistent golf of her life” over three days to win the Fuccillo Kia Championship at Capital Hills by carding a 2-under 69 on the final day.
Heather Donaldson was re-elected president of Tatura Hospital Ladies Auxiliary at the annual general meeting on Thursday, which was attended by 33 people.
THE family of the 18-year-old Bendigo woman who went missing during a jog last week has issued a statement.
THE 2015 National Blood Donor Week festivities will make the Rochester region Victoria’s new red light district.
Community workshop to consider issues to help form Campaspe digital strategy
Heather Stamp brings a long experience of the Salvation Army to Seymour.
Berrigan Shire Council have approved a development application for six more independent living units to add to Berrigan’s Amaroo Self Care Unit block.
THEY may be a familiar sight across the Heathcote district, but some of the much-loved birds in the region are in decline.
It was a field of emerald at the Soroptimist International of Cobram Barooga’s annual lunch on Friday, where diners enjoyed the craic at the Irish-themed event.
Deniliquin and district boasted two major winners at the Australian Sheep and Wool Expo at Bendigo from July 17 to 19.
Riverine Plains is set to hold the first in its series of farm walks for the 2015 season as part of its research into stubble retained cropping systems.
The News magazines are online - read the high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.