LGA partnerships get national approval in South Australia

An independent national report has highlighted the success of South Australia's Local Government Association in taking on reform initiatives with councils and in working in partnership with the State Government.

The "unfinished business" report published by the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG) notes South Australia's success at winning extra national road funding since 2005, in the association's independent inquiry into the financial sustainability of Local Government and its new "Local Excellence" program.

Welcoming the report LGA President Kym McHugh said that South Australia has demonstrated that Local Government itself could lead reforms working in partnership with the State and other parties.

"We think we've demonstrated a formula which works but there is nothing like an independent third party endorsement," he said.

"Clearly the old model of State Governments trying to impose reforms does not work."

"While we think it makes sense, our communities also tell us they want governments to work together."

The report noted the concerted action in South Australia since 2005 to improve financial management and other aspects of Local Government practice, including promotion of shared services, led in most cases by the Association.

"We still have work to do but we have put down excellent foundations which we are continuing to build on with the State Government and other peak bodies."

"Many of our reforms have been assisted by the good working relationship that we have with the State Government and we are looking forward to continuing this work with the incoming Premier Jay Weatherill."

Kym McHugh said the LGA's Local Excellence program, mentioned in the ACELG report, was the next stage in Local Government's commitment to growing and improving South Australian communities.