The Minister for Planning and Local Government, the Hon Peter Gutwein, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the nine Cradle Coast Councils to investigate local government reform.
Mr Gutwein said the signing of the MOU would begin a new era of cooperation by councils across the North West. This is the third MOU signed by the State Government with Tasmanian councils to consider local government reform opportunities.
Cradle Coast Authority Chief Representative Mayor Daryl Quilliam said the MOU was a big step in the right direction to helping the nine Councils across the North West operate more efficiently in the future.
“We are confident this next phase of study will highlight new avenues of resource sharing and ensure Council’s efforts and investments are not unnecessarily duplicated or under-utilised going forward.”
The Cradle Coast study will review the current delivery of local government services in the Cradle Coast region and identify opportunities for the nine councils to work more collaboratively through enhanced shared services or strategic resource sharing arrangements.
It will critically examine the current status of resource sharing in the region and whether a broader and more effective model can be developed and implemented which meets the State Government's and Cradle Coast Councils' agreed objectives of:
- being in the best interests of ratepayers;
- improving the level of services for communities;
- preserving and maintaining local representation; and
- ensuring the financial status of the councils is strengthened.
Mayor Quilliam said all North West councils very much focused on improving living standards in the region.
“Resource sharing is a great way to ensure efficiencies but also pave the way for stronger communication and collaboration across the Councils and to act more as a region.
“Councils have an immediate need to support their base within their LGA boundaries. But we now need Councils to accept a larger responsibility and to act together for the common good of improving our regional economy.“
Mr Gutwein said: “once the modelling work has been done on resource sharing in the Cradle Coast region, we can then have an informed discussion with councils and the community about how to deliver the best possible council services at the lowest possible cost.”
The Greater Hobart Councils and South East Councils are currently engaged in feasibility studies in relation to amalgamation and strategic resource sharing options.
16 councils across the State are now participating in feasibility studies. The Minister indicated he expected to sign a MOU with Northern councils in the near future.