Liberals to vote down Labor’s shambolic local government reform bill

The Marshall Government has announced that it will not support Labor’s shambolic Local Government (Ratepayer protection and related measures) Amendment Bill (the Bill) in State Parliament today.

Labor’s shambolic bill has a number of serious flaws and includes provisions which will increase factional fighting within councils, increase costs to ratepayers, increase red tape and duplicate existing statutory reporting requirements.

Labor rushed the Bill into Parliament without consulting the Local Government Association (LGA).

The Marshall Government has already outlined that this year it will be undertaking a thorough local government reform process, working side by side with the local government sector.

“The Marshall Government is going to be working with the LGA as we undertake the reform process methodically to ensure we get the best outcome for South Australian ratepayers,” said Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Stephan Knoll.

“Unlike Labor, we will be working side by side with the LGA and councils to improve the local government sector.

“Last week the State Government held a roundtable with the local government sector and outlined our key reform drivers; stronger council member capacity and better conduct, efficient and transparent local government representation, lower costs and enhanced financial accountability and simpler regulation.

“Labor rushed draft legislation into Parliament without consulting the local government sector purely for political purposes.

“In its entirety this is a shambolic, rushed and chaotic proposal.

“Labor’s proposal will almost definitely increase incidences of bullying and harassment within councils.

“It would promote factions in councils to try and turf Mayors out early and undemocratically.

“This could force unnecessary elections and result in a greater financial impost on South Australian ratepayers.

“This rushed and misguided proposal was purely a political play by Labor to distract from the fact they refuse to support capping council rates.”