Vegetable Love or Time’s Winged Chariots: local government reform as real change or short term response to frustrations in State economic policy setting level?
Is it just me or do others have lots of questions about what is behind the latest cycle of State government-imposed reform on local government?
Have any other people with an interest in local government got the feeling that the higher up the elected food chain policy makers get, the more simple they want life to be?
That complexity is the failure-point of political success and to be avoided at all costs?
By now a number of local government stakeholders have been presented with the Minister for Planning and Local Government, the Hon Peter Gutwein MHA’s thoughts on reforming local government. We’ve all had the power point, selected documents and Q&A.
For those not invited to the forums, the Minister has set a single objective and timelines in which he wants it to be. He wants Tasmania to be the “most competitive and attractive place to live, work and invest in the entire country” and he wants it done with a voluntary amalgamation investigation process.
Firstly, at the Council level in 2015.
Secondly at the Local Government Board level, with transitions ready for commencement by the end of 2016.
Don’t get me wrong – if an amalgamation or shared service or fee for service arrangement is the best cost-benefit analysis proven way ahead for what is needed now and into the future for Tasmania, all well and good. I remain open to suggestions and of course, I’m politically independent, so there’s plenty of opportunity for debate across a wide range of ideas.
So what’s my problem, then?