On 27 June 2019 the Local Government Legislation Amendment Act 2019 was passed by Parliament.
This Act addresses the following key areas:
The reforms that have already come into operation include:
The following regulations took effect on 3 February 2021, implementing the remaining parts of the Amendment Act.
The department acknowledges that there will be an implementation phase of up to three months where local governments must undertake a series of actions to operationalise these regulatory amendments.
Local governments are required to take specific initial actions within three weeks of the regulations taking effect (by 24 February 2021).
It is further expected that local governments adopt the new regulations and any other procedures and processes required for implementation within three months from the regulations taking effect (by 3 May 2021).
The Local Government (Administration) Amendment Regulations 2021 (CEO Standards Regulations) bring into effect section 22 of the Amendment Act by introducing mandatory minimum standards that cover the recruitment, selection, performance review and early
termination of local government Chief Executive Officers.
The Model CEO Standards provide a framework for local governments to select a CEO in accordance with the principles of merit, probity, equity and transparency.
Key features of these regulations include the requirement:
In addition, requirements for advertising vacant CEO positions have been updated to align with amendments to state-wide public notice provisions.
Local governments will be required to prepare and adopt the Model Standards within three months of these regulations coming into effect (by 3 May 2021). Until such time as a local government adopts the Model Standards, the regulations apply.
Local governments that have a CEO recruitment process currently underway, or are about to commence a CEO recruitment process, are encouraged to contact the department to discuss compliance with the new Standards.
The Local Government (Model Code of Conduct) Regulations 2021 (Model Code Regulations) bring into effect sections 48-51 of the Amendment Act by introducing a mandatory code of conduct for council members, committee members and candidates.
The Model Code Regulations provide for:
The purpose of the Model Code is to guide decisions, actions and behaviours. It also recognises that there is a need for a separate code for council members, committee members and candidates to clearly reflect community expectations of behaviour and ensure
consistency between local governments.
Each local government was previously required to develop their own code of conduct and manage behaviour in accordance with that code. These regulations replace these individual codes by introducing a Model Code that applies to all members and candidates.
It also provides for a high-level process to deal with complaints to ensure a more consistent approach between local governments and across the sector. The intent of the Model Code is to address behaviour through education rather than sanctions.
If a council member does not comply with any action required by the local government following a breach of the Model Code, the local government may refer the matter to the Standards Panel as an alleged contravention of a rule of conduct. The Standards
Panel has the authority to make binding decisions to resolve minor breaches.
Local governments will be required to prepare and adopt the Model Code within three months of these regulations coming into effect (by 3 May 2021). In adopting the Model Code, local governments can include additional behaviours under Division 3 provided
these are consistent with the Model Code.
Until such time as a local government adopts the Code, the Model Code applies. To begin implementation of the Model Code, as soon as practical (by 24 February 2021), local governments must:
If action is not taken to affirm or appoint a complaints officer (by 24 February 2021) under the provisions of the regulations, a complaint made on or soon after the date of effect (3 February 2021) may lapse before it can be formally lodged. This would
be considered inconsistent with the principles of procedural fairness and community expectations of local government.
A copy of the regulations (PDF 606 KB) and explanatory notes should also be provided to all council members,
committee members and candidates in any upcoming elections.
The Local Government Regulations Amendment (Employee Code of Conduct) Regulations 2021 (Employee Code Regulations) bring into effect section 25 of the Amendment Act by prescribing the minimum requirements for an employee code of conduct.
A local government CEO is to prepare and implement a code of conduct to be observed by employees of the local government. The CEO may amend the code of conduct and is required to publish an up-to-date version of the code on the local government’s
The Employee Code Regulations prescribe the minimum requirements in relation to gifts, conflicts of interest and disclosure. In addition, the regulations provide that an employee code of conduct must contain requirements pertaining to:
These requirements are based on the Public Sector Commission’s (PSC) key integrity risks for public sector employees. Local governments must prepare and adopt a code of conduct in accordance with these regulations as soon as practicable. The PSC’s
‘Developing a code of conduct: local government’, may provide assistance.
Employee Code of Conduct Regulations 2021 (PDF 620 KB)
There are five foundational units that make up the course Council Member Essentials:
The training providers are:
All providers will offer all five modules in face-to-face and online mode. More information can be obtained from the providers.
The induction is a free online course which is mandatory for individuals who are considering running for election as a local council member.
The aim of the induction is to assist individuals to understand both the role they will be taking on if they are elected; and the laws that govern the way they must conduct their election campaign.
The induction provides a brief overview of:
The course takes approximately one hour to complete.
The Local Government Act 1995 requires that an individual must meet certain requirements to be a candidate in a local government election in WA . This includes the completion of the induction course.
Individuals who are intending to nominate as a candidate in a local government election must complete the induction prior to nominating.
This includes individuals who have previously been elected as a council member.
The induction course is mandatory for current or former council members who intend to nominate for election and have not previously completed the induction.
The induction will serve as a refresher and provide new or updated information regarding the obligations of council members. Rules and expectations change, and there have been a number of legislative reforms in relation to local government in recent years. In addition, it may be a useful reminder about the laws governing a local election campaign.
The induction course is available online through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries website.
This allows individuals to complete the induction no matter where they are located at a time that suits their work and personal commitments.
The induction course is designed to help individuals understand the role and responsibilities of council members when considering whether to nominate for election.
There are quizzes included in the course to help individuals check their understanding of the information, but there is no test that individuals must pass to complete the induction.
If you do not have access to the internet, you can visit your local library or local government offices to get access to the induction.
Local governments are encouraged to make computer facilities available to support a diverse range of prospective candidates in their local community.
The online induction module is free.
The induction has been designed to meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 level AA as per the Accessibility and Inclusivity Standard.
If you need any assistance in accessing the induction, please contact the Department at LGTraining@dlgsc.wa.gov.au
At the end of the induction, individuals must ensure that they fill in the short e-form and click the ‘Register’ button so that their completion of the induction is registered with the Department. The individual should then receive a system-generated confirmation email which should be retained as a record of the induction.
Please note that email security systems may result in the confirmation email being filtered to a ‘spam’ or ‘junk’ folder, and it may be necessary to check that folder. If you are concerned that you did not receive the confirmation email, please contact the Department at LGTraining@dlgsc.wa.gov.au.
Individuals nominating for a local election are required to declare that they have undertaken the induction as part of completing their nomination form. The Department strongly recommends that individuals show a digital or print copy of their confirmation email when they submit their nomination to the Returning Officer.
It is an offence to make false or misleading statements on the nomination form and penalties may apply. This includes a fine up to $5000 or one-year imprisonment.
The Department can check registration data to verify whether an individual has completed the induction. The Department will audit induction records as required.
The Department encourages local governments to continue to offer information sessions for prospective candidates, if feasible to do so. These sessions can supplement the induction and provide specific information relevant to the local government area.
If you have any queries, please contact the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries at LGTraining@dlgsc.wa.gov.au.
Additional information on your council will now be available on your council’s website.
Do not submit enquiries with this form.