Agile, smart, inclusive. Review to transform WA local government

Tuesday, 20 June 2017
  • Election commitment honoured with commencement of Local Government Act review
  • Review to reduce red tape, modernise local governments and deliver for communities
  • Election participation, online reporting and gift disclosures first to be targeted 

A major review of Western Australia’s outdated Local Government Act is under way, with community participation in elections, online reporting and gift disclosures first to be targeted.

The shake up of the Local Government Act 1995 is a McGowan Government election commitment, which will modernise local government operations and identify ways to reduce red tape.

Local governments, residents, business people and workers will be invited to participate when a discussion paper is released by the State Government later this year.

A second phase of the review, set to take place next year, will look at increasing community participation in local government decision-making, improving behaviour and relationships, enabling local government enterprises and improving financial management.

The review will be supported by a reference group with representation from the Western Australian Local Government Association, Local Government Professionals Australia WA, Western Australian Electoral Commission, Western Australian Council of Social Service and Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Comments attributed to Local Government Minister David Templeman:

“The 1995 Act provides for the system of local government in Western Australia, but it has not kept up with changes in technology or, more importantly, with community expectations.

“WA communities expect their local governments to be both efficient and effective, and strengthen and support local democracy.  This review, which is the first major review since the Act was introduced more than 20 years ago, will make local government more agile, smart and inclusive.

“It will provide a contemporary legislative framework to enable local governments to deliver quality services and good governance for all of WA’s communities.”

Minister’s office – 6552 5400

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Initial test results back from Whiteman Park water

Friday, 16 June 2017
  • ​First results back from water testing at Whiteman Park show no contamination in water supply system
  • Taps being examined as potential source of contamination
  • All public water outlets to remain closed until taps are replaced and further testing undertaken

Initial water test results taken from Whiteman Park have indicated there is no elevated lead contamination in the water distribution system at the park.

The Department of Planning started testing water outlets in Whiteman Park following recent media reports of elevated lead levels.

While testing indicated the water supply is clear, elevated levels of lead were found in three water outlets, indicating that the contamination may lie within the taps.

Representatives from the Building Commission have been on site to undertake an assessment of the affected water outlets.

Under methodology advice from the Department of Health, samples were taken from seven outlets and provided to an accredited laboratory for testing and analysis.

These included the Whiteman Park public drinking water outlets that showed elevated lead levels in the media report (with the exception of the Motor Museum garden tap).

Using Australian Standards methodology, two samples were taken from three outlets; a ‘first flush’ sample which tests water within the tap assembly; and a second sample, taken after running off eight litres of water, which tests for contamination within the distribution system.

An eight litre flush sample was taken from four outlets including the water supply bore and the pump house.

All of the samples taken after the eight litre flush had no elevated lead levels, as determined by the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

The three ‘first flush’ samples indicated elevated lead levels. However, these same taps returned lead levels below the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines following the eight litre flush. This indicates that the contamination may be within the tap assembly.

Comments attributed to Planning Minister Rita Saffioti:

“We take water quality very seriously and acted immediately to respond to reports of contamination in the Whiteman Park fountains.

“We will continue testing and will monitor the situation very closely.”

Minister’s office – 6552 5500

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Whiteman Park taps shut off in lead scare

perthnow – 

TODAY TONIGHT EXCLUSIVE: A special investigation into Perth’s drinking water found high lead levels in the taps at Whiteman Park.
We’ll have an update on tonight’s show, 6.30pm on Channel 7

Posted by Today Tonight on Tuesday, June 13, 2017


DRINKING fountains have been shut off at one of Perth’s most popular family and tourist spots, after the discovery of dangerous lead contamination.

In one case, a tap in Whiteman Park village labelled as filtered drinking water contained lead at 18 times the limit set by health authorities.

Testing of 10 drinking fountains and taps in and around the park by Channel 7’s Today Tonight found more than half contained elevated lead levels.

The State Government, which owns the park, took swift action after being alerted to the problem, placing warning signs on taps and digging up pipes to stop the flow.

The water sources were all found near playgrounds and picnic areas.

Independent testing to verify the results was tonight under way.

The Department of Health said it would take any action needed to ensure the water supply was safe.

“The levels as currently reported do exceed the health risk values,” a spokesperson said.

Planning Minister Rita Saffioti, whose department manages the park, has advised visitors to bring bottled water.

Interim arrangements have also been made to provide bottled water to all park employees and volunteers.

University of WA water researcher Anas Ghadouani said parents of children who played at Whiteman Park were right to be concerned.

“It (lead) is very toxic and it also accumulates in the system,” he said.

“It stays there and it is particularly toxic to children.”

read more…

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NBN rolls out across east

Eastern Reporter – 

About 5300 premises in Ashfield, Caversham, West Swan and remaining parts of Bassendean and Lockridge are expected to be able to connect in coming months.

NBN WA spokeswoman Ebony Aitken said the community would join more than 500,000 premises across Australia that had access to NBN.

“Access to fast broadband is designed to provide a range of benefits such as improved opportunities to work from home, better access to online education tools and more options for on-demand entertainment,” she said.

read more….

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Swan Valley to become major tourism precinct

Media Statement – 

  • ​Strategy to see visitor spend in region grow by $132 million by 2020
  • Marketing partnerships, experience trails and tourist transport to encourage growth

The Swan Valley is set to become one of Western Australia’s premier tourism precincts thanks to a co-ordinated approach from Tourism Western Australia, the City of Swan, local businesses and the tourism industry.

Tourism Minister Paul Papalia today met with wine producers, restaurateurs and representatives from tourism attractions, transport businesses and government to discuss the future of tourism in the Swan Valley.

The meeting follows last month’s announcement that the previous government’s plans to replace the Swan Valley Planning Act 1995 would be put on hold and the Act reviewed, with consideration given to supporting vital industries such as viticulture and tourism.

The review will include a more co-ordinated and sustained tourism strategy to be overseen by Tourism WA.

Mr Papalia’s meeting with industry is the first step in that process and will look at ways Tourism WA and local industry can build on the City of Swan’s Tourism Development Strategy 2015-2020.

The council released the strategy in 2015 with an aim of attracting an additional 120,000 visitors by 2020 with an extra spend of $132.4 million in visitor spend.

Some of the opportunities identified to grow visitor numbers include developing a marketing strategy for the Swan Valley in partnership with local industry, developing new and upgrading existing experience trails, trialling a hop-on, hop-off bus service for tourists and building capacity in existing tourism businesses.

Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia:

“The Swan Valley is one of Western Australia’s premier visitor destinations. It is recognised for its gourmet food and beverage, events and nature-based and heritage experiences.

“Tourism WA is already working with the City of Swan on parts of the strategy, particularly around developing and promoting food and wine trails.

“The region is home to more than 150 tourism businesses and getting the conditions right to see tourism grow, will be important in our plan to grow jobs in the State.

“Visitor attraction remains the State Government’s number one tourism priority – everything we are doing is about growing numbers to create jobs, develop business opportunities and diversify the economy.

“Every $106,000 in overnight visitor spend supports one tourism job, with the industry already supporting 97,000 jobs in WA.”

Comments attributed to Planning Minister Rita Saffioti:

“Reform to legislation overseeing the Swan Valley is critical to the region’s future success.

“We have been seeking local input and expertise to ensure the Swan Valley continues to grow as a tourism region while respecting the needs of the local community.

“The area is the second oldest wine region in Australia and is well positioned to leverage its close proximity to Perth, to capture more of the tourist market.”

Tourism Minister’s office – 6552 5600
Planning Minister’s office – 6552 5500

Media Statement link…

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City of Swan Financial Health and Councillor Remuneration

The Financial Health Indicator (FHI) is a measurement of a local government’s overall financial health. It is calculated from the seven financial ratios that local governments are required to calculate annually. An FHI result of 70 and above indicates sound financial health. The maximum result achievable is 100. The FHI is one factor to consider in assessing overall performance. Other factors include: the range of services offered; efficiency of services delivered; and community satisfaction. A very high or low FHI may be a prompt for questions to be asked by the community about a local government’s revenue, expenses and service delivery.

Councillor Remuneration 

Councillors, including Mayors and Shire Presidents, receive meeting fees and may receive allowances or have certain council-related expenses reimbursed. The Local Government Act 1995 describes the types of fees, allowances and reimbursable expenses that council members are entitled to claim. The Salaries and Allowances Tribunal sets council member meeting fees and allowances payable. The Local Government (Financial Management) Regulations 1996 requires that local governments report the fees, allowances and reimbursed expenses paid to council members. This table shows the remuneration paid to council as a whole by payment type. This amount does not include interstate and overseas travel paid for by local government or third-parties undertaken on council business.

ICT – Information and Communication Technology allowance

Source – MyCouncil

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Middle Swan set to be the site of new aged care facility

The Liberal Government is providing an additional $649 million per year to create 9911 new residential aged care places with Pearce set to benefit. 

Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, welcomed the news that a residential aged care facility will be established in Middle Swan. The facility will be funded through the 2016-17 Aged Care Approvals Round and will provide a new aged care service in the area.

“With our rapidly ageing population, the Government is committed to providing a sustainable aged care system that meets that needs of our older Australians,” Mr Porter said. 

“There is already a significant supply of residential aged care in Ellenbrook, Guildford and Midland and the need for further residential aged care investment was identified in the Urban Growth Corridor.

“The new aged care facility in Middle Swan will have 120 residential care places with places reserved to cater for people with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

“There are also a number of places allocated in the new Middle Swan facility to focus on the care of our veterans.

“This is an estimated investment of nearly $8 million to ensure that our older Australians live in the best possible environment in their later years.”

The new residential aged care places follow the announcement of 475 Short-Term Restorative Care places made available through the 2016-17 Aged Care Approvals Round in February 2017. 

These Short-Term Restorative Care places, worth an estimated total expenditure of up to $34.7 million a year, provide flexible aged care options that will help older people remain in their own homes for longer after injury or illness.

“Australians want greater choice and control over the care they receive and these changes do exactly that,” Mr Porter said.

Information about the 2016−17 Aged Care Approvals Round outcomes, including details of the successful approved providers, is available at

Media Contact: Ella Cahill – or 6296 7255

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A YEARLING sales complex planned for Middle Swan

Ellenbrook Advocate –


A YEARLING sales complex planned for Middle Swan will bring tourism and business to the area, says Magic Millions Perth manager David Houston.

Mr Houston said the venue, proposed for a Dale Road property bought by the company last month, would include about 300 stables and a selling auditorium.

He said they were now working on rezoning the land in the hopes of completing the development in 2018.

“Once we are certain of that then we can proceed with all the works,” he said.

“Some of the stuff we can have ready to go anyway, but obviously you can’t do any building and that sort of thing until we’re sure we’re going to be able to go ahead.

“But it would be lovely to have our own complex sooner than later; with the proposed redevelopment of Belmont (Racecourse) we have to move anyway, and that facility is old and not of the standard we required or the industry requires so we need to have our own going.”

Mr Houston said the Swan Valley was an iconic, ambient region that was ideal for the venture. Magic Millions’ David Houston at the site of a planned yearling sales venue.

“Racehorses and wines I think go together,” he said.

He said the property was conveniently located off the Great Northern Highway and accessible to those coming from the city.

“Local businesses, the accommodation places whether they be bed and breakfasts or some of the bigger places like Mandoon and The Vines, they’ll all get some sort of a spin-off,” he said.

read more…

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Distillery to draw tourists

Eastern Reporter –

THE Swan Valley will soon be home to an Australian first, with plans approved this month to build a one-stop shop cellar door and cafe. The craft distillery, which also produces craft beer, wine and cider, will open its doors early next year, with plans to encourage more people into the Swan Valley and promote its produce on an international level.

Onebar Distillery co-founders Armando Formica and Brodie Butler said the cellar door was an Australian first and possibly even a world first.

read more…

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Life Penalties for Methamphetamine Traffickers

WAtoday – 

The WA government stuck to its word, introducing the Misuse of Drugs Amendment (Methamphetamine Offences) Bill 2017 on Tuesday, which will see the maximum sentence for meth trafficking increased from 25 years to life imprisonment.

The bill will also see the maximum fine for meth traffickers lifted from the current maximum of $10,000 to an unlimited penalty.

“Thousands of families across WA are battling against the scourge of meth,” Mr McGowan said in a release.

“Every day they endure its impacts – violence, arrests, losing houses, jobs and businesses. This needs to stop.

“Meth is an epidemic which is destroying communities. The community expects meth traffickers to be locked up for a long time.

“They are evil people and are responsible for tearing families apart and destroying lives.”

read more…

tweet –

click on play button to listen to the Premier, Mark McGowan…

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City of Swan 2017/18 RATES UP 3%

City of Swan ratepayers can expect a rate rise of approximately 3% for the 2017/18 financial year.

The following rating principles are proposed in this Statement of Objects and Reasons for the 2017/18 rating year:

  • Gross Rental Values apply to the following differential general rate categories; Residential, Commercial/Industrial, City Centre and Heavy Industry
  • Unimproved Values apply to the following differential general rate categories; Farmland, UV General and UV Commercial
  • Properties are rated according to the Town Planning zoning and/or predominant use of the land with each having a separate calculated rate in the dollar to achieve greater equity across all sectors
  • Gross Rental Values (GRV) are re-valued every 3 years with the 1st July 2017 being revaluation year
  • Unimproved Values (UV) are re-valued annually
  • Gross Rental Values and Unimproved Values are determined by the Valuer Generals Office
  • The City has utilised the current values provided by the Valuer General Office as at 2 May 2017 to determine the total rates revenue per differential rate type based on the proposed 3% increase on the 2016/17 rate in the dollar. Based on this proposed rates revenue, the City has recalculated the rate in the dollar utilising the new values provided by the Valuer General
  • The proposed rates model will yield approx. $120.8 million in total rate revenue, this figure is inclusive of ex-gratia rates, interims and write offs
  • As in prior years, 3% of the rate revenue will be allocated to Infrastructure Asset Replacement Reserve
  • It is proposed to continue with Specified Area Rates “Midland Drainage District and Hazelmere/Guildford Drainage District”
  • It is proposed to continue with Specified Area Rates “UV – Hazelmere Industrial Roads and Drainage” and “GRV – Hazelmere Industrial Roads and Drainage”
  • Proposed to keep the 2017/18 minimum rates the same as 2016/17

The overall objective of the proposed rates in the 2017/18 Budget is to provide for the net funding requirements of the City’s expenditure, after taking into account all other forms of revenue.

The formulation of a rating system is about achieving a means by which Council can raise sufficient revenue to pay for the services it provides. Throughout Australia, the basis of using property valuations has been found to be the most appropriate means of achieving rating equity; however, the achievement of a wholly equitable rating system for all properties, in all areas, is a difficult task if it is based on the property valuations alone. For this reason there is refinement options made available, such as differential rating, which the City of Swan has elected to use.

Average Residential rates for the last 4 years comparison with the City of Wanneroo…


read more…

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A series of major road and rail projects announced by the McGowan Government in recent weeks is a much-deserved windfall for the north-eastern suburbs.

At the election, WA Labor committed to fixing several congestion hotspots and taking a long-term, integrated approach to transport planning.

Long-standing local frustration over congestion on Lord Street and Reid Highway, plus the lack of public transport options, have all been addressed in the McGowan Government’s recent announcements.

Along with improving efficiency along the area’s busiest roads, forward planning for the rail line to Ellenbrook has already started.

These road and rail projects will not only relieve congestion; they will create hundreds of local jobs and make local suburbs more liveable places.

A $70 million allocation to carry out the final duplication of Reid Highway, between Altone Road and West Swan, was one of 17 road projects announced for the metropolitan area as part of a new $2.3 billion State-Commonwealth funding agreement.

The $2.3 billion funding agreement with the Commonwealth is also a boost for the future rail line to Ellenbrook with significant funds allocated for project development and planning.

Meanwhile, the McGowan Government also confirmed a variation of the contract for the Ellenbrook Bus Rapid Transit to build the dual carriageway New Lord Street.

The project will use part of the existing Lord Street but the majority will be built about 200m west of the existing alignment.

There are ongoing updates associated with the NorthLink project and further information is expected soon regarding the upcoming second stage.

Comments from Transport Minister & Member for West Swan, Rita Saffioti MLA:

“The upgrade of this section has been the missing piece of the puzzle for the north-eastern suburbs road network.

“The Northlink project already includes the duplication of Reid Highway between Altone and Beechboro Roads, meaning the entire length of the highway’s dual carriageway upgrade is fully funded between the two projects.

“Over the next year we will be undertaking detailed planning for the rail line.

“The new Lord Street will also include a new park and ride facility, new stops and bus priority measures along the route that will deliver time savings to both car and bus commuters.”

“I will see what is possible, given the contract has been signed, to improve local access.”

Media Contact: Joel Kelly 0437 055 803

Premier Mark McGowan and Transport Minister Rita Saffioti are speaking in Ellenbrook this morning on plans for a dual carriage way and the future of the rail line to Ellenbrook

Posted by The Advocate on Saturday, April 29, 2017

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$2.3 billion jobs boost for WA

perth now –

A LANDMARK $2.3 billion roads and rail deal struck between the Federal and State Governments will create 6000 new jobs in WA over the next two years.

Lauded as a “game changer for WA”, the multibillion-dollar windfall will ignite a construction boom in Perth, ease traffic congestion and kick-start the Metronet railway expansion.

The Sunday Times can reveal full details of the 17 roads and rail projects that have been agreed after two months of negotiations concluded this week.

Crucially, the Turnbull Government has agreed to re-direct $1.2 billion in Federal funds previously allocated to the now cancelled Perth Freight Link.

Tuesday’s Federal Budget will also inject another $400 million to the building spree, bringing the Commonwealth’s commitment to $1.6 billion — far more than previously expected.

The State Government, which will pump in $745 million by redirecting money from the PFL and savings on other projects, lauded the deal as a “massive victory for common sense and for WA’s economy”.

“This will be the most significant boost for local jobs this State has seen in a long time,” Premier Mark McGowan said last night.

In a major victory for the McGowan Government, $1.26 billion was secured for Metronet. This includes the removal of the level crossing at Denny Avenue and Davis Road ($62 million), a depot at Bellevue ($25 million) and business case development ($40 million).

read more…

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Swan River in ‘palliative care’ after decades of mismanagement


The Swan and Canning rivers are on life support after a decade of being treated as a “political football”, a provocative new report by a collective of WA policy and environmental experts says.

My Clean River, a new group of chemical industry and urban planning experts, and current and former public servants, have published a confronting description of five concrete and steel oxygen injectors operating in the rivers as “palliative care systems”.

read more…

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Review of the Swan Valley Protection Bill

ECHO News –

PLANNING Minister Rita Saffioti has asked the Department of Planning to review the Swan Valley Protection Bill and associated draft development plan, which lapsed at the end of the last Parliament.

Ms Saffioti, who is also the West Swan MLA, said the McGowan Government recognised the need to reform the Swan Valley Planning Act 1995 but has put the former process on hold while a new reform strategy and consultative framework was established to reflect election commitments.

She said the review would include options to improve support for viticulture, the introduction of a new board to oversee the Swan Valley, a greater level of consultation to reflect the many views in the Swan Valley and a more coordinated and sustained tourism strategy, overseen by Tourism WA.

read more…

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Posted in Swan Valley Protection Bill 2016, Tourism, Viticulture/Horticulture | Leave a comment

Ellenbrook Police Station will be open 24/7 as of 24 July

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Lord Street dual carriageway plan to speed up Ellenbrook commute!

perth now –

ELLENBROOK residents are being promised faster commute times in their cars, with the State Government announcing a new dual carriageway for Lord Street.

The project, which will replace the previous government’s bus rapid transit plan to Ellenbrook, will build a new Lord Street between Reid Highway and Gnangara Road, connecting at Drumpellier Drive.

New Lord Street, to be built in an existing transport reservation, will run parallel to the existing street and will include a new bus park and ride and priority traffic signals.

A shared path will also run adjacent to the road, providing improved access to Whiteman Park for cyclists and pedestrians.
Premier Mark McGowan said the project represented the first step in Labor’s plan for a train line to Ellenbrook.

“A bus lane for Ellenbrook was never going to cut it; that’s why we’ve moved swiftly to build a new dual-carriageway to ease traffic congestion and start work on the rail line to Ellenbrook,” he said.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the project was achieved after the Government renegotiated the contract for the BRT, and would not cost any extra.

“New Lord Street will address one of the major bottlenecks on our road network – the southbound approach to the Marshall Road roundabout, where queues during the morning peak can extend to 2.5 kilometres,” she said.

“This project forms part of a series of transport improvements for Perth’s north-eastern suburbs.”

She said the total cost would be $57 million, plus $5 million for the relocation of telecommunication technology near the planned site of the Ellenbrook train station.

perth now link…

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Posted in Community, Roads | Leave a comment