Local government is faced with huge challenges as it moves into the future.
Responding to recent legislation around the impact of climate change and related matters such as food security is becoming a significant issue for local government.
Another emerging issue is the need to create the governance to manage Australia's two-track economy. The flow-on impact of the global financial crisis – including fiscal stress on higher tiers of government – requires a governance response at a local level.
Other challenges that need to be met at a local level include coping with an ageing population and delivering affordable housing.
This is the century of the city and Australia is part of the world's most dynamically urbanising region. This means the performance of metropolitan governance is under increasing scrutiny.
Across Australia local government is changing. These changes include:
a forced restructure of Queensland’s local government
the establishment of a Western Australian commission with a mandate to fundamentally reshape metropolitan governance in Perth
New South Wales’ Destination 2036 process which focuses on metropolitan governance in Sydney
discussion of major structural change within southern Tasmanian councils
Councils need to determine the future of local government by developing new approaches to local governance and advocating for council-led change.
Future of Local Government Summit
The annual Future of Local Government Summit brings together experts from around the world to share their views on the influences shaping local government and the opportunities this can create for Victorian councils and their communities.
It has been running since 2005.
Council plan: good practice guide
This new good practice guide contains summary information on the purpose of the council plan (2013–17), the suggested framework and structure, linkages, definitions and principles.
It is not intended to be a ‘one glove fits all’ approach as every council will have variations as to layout and content.
We are planning to benchmark council plans in 2013 and to identify showcase councils as a means of sharing knowledge across the sector.