Forward-looking initiatives for Local Government Fri 13 July 2012 Bryan Green Deputy Premier The Deputy Premier Bryan Green said today four-yearly elections for Tasmanian councils could be introduced under a range of forward-looking initiatives for Local Government. "It is important that we constructively engage on issues that Local Government has indicated may improve the ability of the sector to provide services to the community," Mr Green said. Mr Green said many councillors in Local Government had expressed a strong preference for four-yearly all-in, all-out elections. "A number of councils are concerned with the disruptive nature of two yearly elections when half of a council is up for election every 24 months," Mr Green said. Mr Green said that there were many issues to work through but if councils agreed the new electoral terms could be introduced by 2015. "Strategic plans, rates policies and financial and asset management plans could be agreed by Councils in the first year of the electoral cycle allowing three clear years to implement them before going back to the polls. "I think it is important that the full Council is given the opportunity to set the direction for their community and see it through." Mayors would also be elected for four years and Deputy Mayors would be internally elected by the Council. Mr Green said the Government was also willing to discuss the possibility of opt-in compulsory voting for councils. "Many councils do not support compulsory voting but those who do should have the opportunity to make their case. "The Government will continue working proactively to help revitalise and strengthen councils as democratic institutions. "The Government will not impose change on councils but will work with them like we have on major planning reform to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Local Government sector." Mr Green announced at today's Local Government Association of Tasmania conference a review of the role of Local Government to be conducted jointly by the State Government and LGAT. "This will give the community more clarity, a better understanding of the role of Local Government and help shape future policy." "Tasmanian councils serve their communities very well but that doesn't mean we should not look at improving service delivery, planning for the future and long-term sustainability." Mr Green said he expected the Director of Local Government to report back on the review in the second half of next year. "Local councils are central to Tasmania's social fabric, the economy and our democracy and the Government will continue working cooperatively and constructively with them," Mr Green said.