The future of local government in Tasmania under review in 2022

This year, the State Government will commence a review into the future of Local Government in Tasmania. The idea of the review is to create a more robust and capable system of local government that’s ready to tackle the challenges and opportunities of the future. Under the Local Government Act 1993 (‘the Act’), the Minister for Local Government currently Michael Ferguson requires the Board to conduct the review.

The Board will make recommendations on the future role, functions and design of local government and the structural, legislative and financial reforms required to meet this objective.

The Board will consider:

• The future roles and functions that should be delivered by local government in
Tasmania;
• The organisational features and capabilities necessary to enable local government to effectively and sustainably deliver its future roles and functions,
• The optimal future design for the Tasmanian local government sector to support the delivery of local government’s proposed roles, functions, features
and capabilities, individually and collectively, across representative and administrative roles and functions,
• A practical transition plan for implementing the future design of local government in Tasmania, if required, and
• Any other matters the Board considers relevant.

The review will be conducted in three key stages. Stage 1 has begun and will run until June this year. It will cover community engagement, research, and identify current issues. Stage 2 will run from July until December 2022 and will take the research and create a ‘shortlist’ of feasible reform options for the Board to consider. Based on the evidence, this stage looks to optimise the performance of Council services and functions and deliver on community needs and expectations.

In Stage 3, early next year, the Board will narrow down and refine the options to deliver its final written review and recommendations to the Minister, by no later than 30 June 2023. In accordance with the Act, the Minister may either accept or reject the recommendations, ask the Board to reconsider them, or refer to the Board any alterations requested by councils.

To find out more about the review and the Board members visit: www.dpac.tas.gov.au/divisions/local_government