Problems, disputes and dysfunction within local government impacts upon ratepayers, local businesses, and local government services.
Complaints relating to local governments should be resolved quickly to reduce the risk of damage that may be done when there are serious problems in how a local government is functioning.
Local government oversight needs to be focused on targeting and fixing significant problems and stopping misconduct.
A new oversight inspector for local government will be appointed to handle complaints, manage investigations, and coordinate the proactive resolution of significant problems identified within local governments. The inspector will have the authority to
receive complaints about local government CEOs.
Specialist independent monitors appointed by the Inspector will visit and work with local governments to fix problems, to provide for faster resolution where problems are identified.
Stronger penalties will be imposed by a new Conduct Panel. This will include short-term disqualification or withholding of allowances for elected members who have been found to be in breach of the Local Government Act or Regulations.
Elected members who do not complete mandatory training within a certain time will not be eligible for any allowances or sitting fees. They will also be liable for other penalties.
Mayors and presidents will have consistent powers to eject anyone who disrupts a council meeting, with appropriate checks and balances by the Local Government Inspector, to prevent the misuse of these powers. This reform will also be supported by mandatory
audio or video recording of council meetings.
Other amendments may further strengthen oversight of local government. Early intervention and oversight reforms will also be supported by the other reforms, especially new transparency and democratic decision-making reforms.
To provide your feedback on these reforms, please email your comments to email@example.com by 4 February 2022.
Do not submit enquiries with this form.