Local Government Regulations Amendment Regulations (No. 2) 2023

The Regulations introduce regulation amendments to provide for local government constitutional and electoral reforms following the passage of the Local Government Amendment Act 2023.

The Regulations were gazetted on 30 June 2023.

The majority the provisions in the Regulations will come into effect on 1 July 2023 to provide for important changes to be in effect for the 2023 local government elections.

Changes to wards and representation

The Regulations prescribe local governments into classes 1, 2, 3 and 4. These classes currently align with the 4 bands that local governments are placed in by the most recent Salaries and Allowances Tribunal determination.

Introducing classes for local governments means that:

  • class 1 and 2 local governments will have popularly elected mayors and presidents
  • class 3 and 4 local governments cannot be divided into wards.

Classes for local governments will also be used for future regulation amendments, such as prescribing livestreaming and audio recording requirements for council meetings.

Changes for the 2023 elections

Section 80 of the Local Government Amendment Act 2023 replaces first past the post voting with optional preferential voting as the voting method for all local government elections in Western Australia.

The Regulations introduce a number of amendments to reflect this change to an optional preferential voting system and other election reforms:

  • procedures for local government chief executive officers to provide notice to candidates who are eligible to backfill a vacant office
  • amendments to the notice of declaration of election results to capture candidates who may be eligible to backfill
  • extending the election time period by 7 days to account for receipt of postal votes
  • increasing the length of candidate profiles
  • updates to candidate gift disclosures to account for the new backfilling provisions
  • new requirements for the destruction and deletion of copies of electoral rolls for unsuccessful candidates or council members who are no longer in office
  • changes to elected forms to account for optional preferential voting
  • an updated Local Government Candidate Induction course.

Caretaker period for the 2025 elections

The Local Government Amendment Act 2023 included provisions for a statewide caretaker period for local government elections and restrictions on what local governments may do during that period.

These Regulations amend the Local Government (Functions and General) Regulations 1996 to define a 'significant act' to set out what the restrictions are during the caretaker period.

Part 5 (Caretaker Restrictions) will commence on 1 July 2024 so that the statewide caretaker period will be in effect for the subsequent 2025 local government elections.

Remuneration for independent committee members

The Regulations include new provisions that relate to the allowances and reimbursement of costs associated with council committee meeting attendance for independent committee members.

Independent committee members are those members of council committees who are not council members or local government employees.

These amendments follow the changes in the Local Government Amendment Act 2023 to provide for the payment for allowances and fees to independent committee members.

The levels of these payments are to be determined by the Salaries and Allowances Tribunal.

Regulation 7 (Payments to Independent Committee Members) will take effect later in 2024, following the relevant determination from Salaries and Allowances Tribunal.

Page reviewed 29 February 2024