Civic reform model to be revealed soon

Mr Simpson said the metropolitan area was growing faster than before and since becoming minister he had noticed widespread recognition of the need for reform.

‘Since becoming Local Government Minister, I have been asked again and again, ‘is our council safe’,’ he said.

‘I can understand people asking that but I would like a more positive approach to reform. Reform is a done deal, we’ve been talking about it for years and it is time to be decisive.’

Mr Simpson said he had recently met the mayors, presidents and chief executives of the 30 metropolitan local governments, outlining the need to change and the opportunity to share services and remove duplication to provide services at the best cost to the ratepayers.

He would release the preferred model in the coming weeks, taking into account the Robson report, feedback from meetings, advice from the Department of Local Government and agreement from other ministerial colleagues. The October council elections will proceed under the existing arrangements and the new councillors would help ‘shape local government into the future’.