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LG Alert

The first tranche of the local government reforms will focus on strengthening local democracy, providing greater transparency and accountability by:

  • introducing optional preferential voting, bringing local government elections more in line with State and Federal elections
  • requiring public election of mayor or president for all larger councils
  • abolishing the use of wards for smaller local governments
  • aligning the size of councils with the size of the population of each local government area
  • enabling reforms to the owners and occupiers roll to prevent the use of ‘sham leases’, addressing critical findings of the City of Perth Inquiry
  • setting State-wide caretaker periods during ordinary council elections
  • setting standardised council meeting procedures
  • mandating live streaming and recording of council meetings
  • establishing mandated communications agreements between council members and the local government administration
  • enabling reforms to require all local governments to publish information through online registers, including registers that disclose information about local government leases, grants, and goods and services contracts
  • introducing new requirements for the publication of performance indicators and results for all local government Chief Executive Officers, with provision for limited exemptions for sensitive matters.

A copy of the Bill, the Second Reading speech, Explanatory Memorandum and a blue bill showing the proposed amendments to the Local Government Act 1995 can be sourced from the WA Parliament website.

This Bill incorporates consultation feedback received from the local government sector, including changing the voting system to optional preferential voting from full preferential voting and adjusting the maximum number of councillors for smaller councils from 5 to 7.  

The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries will be holding a webinar for the local government sector early March 2023 to provide a briefing on the bill and its implications for the local government sector. This will include an address by the Hon John Carey MLA, Minister for Local Government. 

Attendance at this webinar is encouraged, particularly for local government CEOs and staff involved in governance and elections. Registration details to be confirmed.

The webinar will be for approximately 30 minutes and will include a briefing and an opportunity to ask questions. The session will be recorded. 

Questions regarding the Bill and local government reforms can be directed to

Reform of the Local Government Act — update


Page reviewed 27 February 2023