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Future of local government

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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.

For enquiries, contact John Hennessy.

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.

Future of Local Government program update

The MAV Future of Local Government Program has established a Strategic Planning Group as well as a Councils of the Future Program to:

  • Identify preferred strategic directions for the sector so it can deliver improved outcomes for Victorian communities in a more sustainable manner in the future, and
  • Identify collaborative opportunities for the sector and its regions.

Currently, the process is identifying those functions suited to a statewide and regional level. Councils will be invited to participate in proof of concept trials for agreed collaborative activities on a common platform.

For further information, contact John Hennessy.

More information