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LGA. A dodo that won’t lie down.

September 14, 2017

Congratulations to Adelaide City  Councillor Anne Moran for her outspoken condemnation of the Local Government Association, and her call for her council to break away from it.

As a member of local government for more than three decades I have seen the effectiveness of the association wither on the vine, none more so than in the field of planning.

When I joined Unley City Council in 1985 it was able to reflect the wishes of local residents regarding their life-style, especially in the field of development planning. Inch by painful inch that serious responsibility has been eroded to the extent that very soon  there will be no place on so-called “planning” committees for even one Councillor to champion  the interest of the very people that residents have voted for.

Like many other suburban council areas, Unley, for example, has been told by State Government that it will have to cram thousands of extra residents into its  suburbs, thus destroying the ambience  of such as Parkside, Goodwood, Wayville etc.

And it’s many a moon since I bothered to attend the association’s annual meetings…gab-fests that always ended with time which should have been set aside for debating important issues raised by member councils being gazumped by inappropriate guest speakers.

On several occasions in the recent past I have suggested that Unley should save its rates income for funding essentials rather than a dodo. Maybe the time has come to do a Moran.





2 Comments leave one →
  1. YoungerSlightlyGrumpy permalink
    September 14, 2017 10:45 am

    Moran article 100% spot on. Sounds like the LGA could be revived but currently a waste of time and money unless it gets back to it’s original purpose. I doubt the appetite is there to rock the boat in Unley though. Yes Council steadily losing decision making responsibilties a real concern. Not sure if rate capping is the answer but it is surely obvious by now some Councils need to pay more attention to reigning in this area, particularly in SA. Also the question has to be asked as to why some Councils (admittedly tiny in number currently but growing) are straying into areas like Australia Day. That dill from Marion Council on TV pushing for Australia Day to be moved. At least Hanna reminded him he is not there to give us a left wing sermon. How seriously are we meant to take some of these people because they sure take themselves very seriously.


  2. September 15, 2017 5:43 pm

    2-3 years ago I raised the issue of what value for money the LGA delivers to Councils. That prompted the LGA to visit Unley and meet with Councillors. In answer to my questions they subsequently responded that in fact we got back more than we contributed in annual fees. From memory the ‘windfall’ to Unley (and probably also to other Councils) was associated with low rate loans from the Local Government Finance facility.
    I was sceptical about the response, but decided not to pursue the matter.
    However, I do agree that the LGA is very top heavy and does not consult with the Councils, at least not with the Councillors. There may be talks with Councils CEOs and Mayors, but the nature of those discussions certainly is not passed on to Councillors.
    It does annoy me that the LGA makes decisions without consulting us. Thus, they are not a body representative of Councils.
    The Local Government Minister should get involved and prune the size of the LGA … I’d say by half. The LGA has too many projects on the go, more so to justify the size of the bureaucracy. With the State election approaching, it would be a popular move by Labor and Liberal … a sure vote winner.
    Whatever, it’s time for a serious review of the size and function and accountability of the LGA.


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