Local government - letter to the editor
Submitted to the Letters Editor, Herald Sun
Re: Local government
Councils are at the heart of their communities, and form part of the level of government that is closest to the people it represents.
The reality is that if councils shut up shop, the services that make our communities great places to live would diminish.
I’m the first to acknowledge that they don’t always get it right. But councils have close relationships with their communities, and are always encouraging and taking into account their feedback.
Polling consistently shows that councils are more trusted than both State and Federal Parliament, and councils score well in local government community satisfaction surveys.
In fact, the most recent satisfaction survey shows that Victorians are three times as likely to have a favourable impression of councils’ overall performance than to have an unfavourable impression.
So I find it particularly unwarranted that Herald Sun columnist Rita Panahi yesterday suggested that the whole local government sector should be abolished and absorbed by the Victorian Government.
Over many years, successive state governments have continued to expand local government’s roles and responsibilities. They would not do so if they weren’t confident we can deliver better, more efficient services.
Of course there is always room for improvement. Local government is not perfect – no level of government is.
But the views and decisions of a few does not warrant calls for the abolition of the entire sector, which does great work every day providing communities with the services they need.
Councils do the best they can with increasingly limited resources to make sure their communities are thriving, enjoyable places to live.
Cr Mary Lalios
Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV)