16-51 – Further Phase 1 amendments to the Local Government Act commence and amending regulation made

What’s new or changing

  • As notified in Circular 16-30, the NSW Parliament passed amendments to the Local Government Act 1993 (the LGA) in the Local Government Amendment (Governance and Planning) Act 2016. These reforms are known as the Phase 1 amendments.
  • Some Phase 1 amendments commenced on 30 August 2016, 23 September 2016 and 1 October 2016 and were notified to councils in Circulars 16-30 and 16-35.
  • Further Phase 1 amendments relating to the appointment of financial controllers and temporary advisers have now been commenced by proclamation. An amending regulation (the Local Government (General) Amendment (Performance Management) Regulation) has also been made.
  • Both the proclamation and regulation were published on 25 November 2016 under the Notification-Gazette tab of the NSW Legislation website.
  • The remaining Phase 1 amendments will be put in place over time.

What this will mean for your council

  • The following Phase 1 amendments have been commenced by proclamation and are now in force:
    • The power of the Minister to appoint a financial controller in association with a performance improvement order and the functions and powers of a financial adviser;
    • Clarification of the process of appointing a temporary adviser; and
    • Regulation-making powers to prescribe criteria for the Minister to consider when determining whether to appoint a financial controller and/or a temporary adviser.
  • The Local Government (General) Regulation now:
    • prescribes that the Minister must consider whether the appointment of a financial controller will (in his opinion) contribute to improving the financial operations of a council or contribute to mitigating a financial risk facing the council.
    • prescribes that the Minister must consider whether an appointment of a temporary adviser will (in his opinion) assist the council to comply with (or implement actions under) a performance improvement order as a separate criterion.

Key points

  • The Minister now has the power to appoint a financial controller in association with a performance improvement order and after considering prescribed criteria.

Where to go for further information

For more information, contact your Office of Local Government Relationship Manager.

Tim Hurst

Acting Chief Executive