A pilot training program will enable elected members in Western Australia’s country local governments to build their skills and improve governance and decision-making.
Local Government Minister Tony Simpson said the $1.52million program, which will be rolled out in June 2014 to country local governments in Busselton and the Murchison, was funded through the State Government’s Royalties for Regions program.
Training will be delivered by the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA). Upon completion, elected members may progress to a Diploma of Local Government.
“One of the main principles of Royalties for Regions is local decision-making, and local governments have a critical role because of their direct links with the community,” Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said.
“This training will ensure country local governments are equipped with the right skills to help guide $1billion a year in Royalties for Regions investment.”
Mr Simpson, who has met 115 of the State’s 138 local governments since March 2013, always stresses the need for elected members to have the ‘right tools to do the job’ in terms of running meetings, making decisions and being aware of their obligations to residents, staff and their organisations.
As a former councillor for Serpentine-Jarrahdale, Mr Simpson completed an Institute of Company Directors course which he said provided helpful knowledge and direction.
“It is important that we build the capacity of local governments to deliver the best possible services for our communities,” he said.
“This means ensuring elected members are aware of their responsibilities, governance processes and financial decisions.”
The country local government training will be free of charge and voluntary for elected members in non-metropolitan areas of WA.