The NSW local government review panel is heading to Lismore next month to consult with councils and communities following the May 13 release of its discussion paper on the future of local government.
Panel chair, Professor Graham Sansom, said the paper, Future Directions for NSW Local Government, aimed at transforming the culture, structures, finances and operations, as well as relations, with the state government.
‘This paper gives councils and the community another opportunity to have their say and inform our ideas before we complete our final report in September,’ he said.
The panel’s goal is for a ‘more sustainable system of democratic local government’ that has added capacity to address the needs of local and regional communities, and to be a ‘valued partner of state and federal governments’.
The panel believes NSW needs more effective local government to harness the skills and resources of local communities, improve quality of life and advance State development.
The Future Directions for NSW Local Government: Twenty Essential Steps paper provides a detailed progress report on the panel’s work to date and provides a basis for further consultation.
The panel’s ideas are still crystallising and it wants to discuss the options included in the paper with councils and communities.
The paper fulfils the panel’s commitment to ensure that all concerned can discuss the options being considered for its final report, which is now due in September 2013, in order to give the panel time to consider all feedback.
Community Hearings will be held to provide opportunity for local people and organisations to express their views directly to the panel and discuss the various ideas and proposals in the paper.
A spokesperson confirmed the consultation with northern rivers’ councils was set for June 11 at the Lismore Workers Club.
‘Those councils (councillors and staff) are invited to come to the daytime session from 1pm to 4pm, and then we’re also running a community hearing in the evening from 5pm to 7pm which will be held in Lismore,’ he said.