Council Boundaries

29 May 2012 questionsarchive

I seek leave to make a brief explanation before directing a question to the Minister for State/Local Government Relations on the subject of council boundaries.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: Fairly recently, the Lord Mayor of the City of Adelaide made the remark that more council amalgamations should be in order, which was not met well by his colleague from the City of Norwood, Payneham and St Peters. My questions to the minister are:

1. Is the Mayor right: should we have more council amalgamations?

2. Has he received any representations on this matter?

3. Does he have any plans for local council reform?

The Hon. R.P. WORTLEY (Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for State/Local Government Relations) (14:35): The Hon. Steve Yarwood, the Lord Mayor of Adelaide, did make announcements the other day calling for—

Members interjecting:

The Hon. R.P. WORTLEY: Do you or don't you want to hear the question? Is it not important enough?

Members interjecting:

The Hon. R.P. WORTLEY: Do you want to hear the answer?

The Hon. T.J. Stephens interjecting:

The Hon. R.P. WORTLEY: Yes. Now I understand why they put you on the back bench, mate. If you behave like that in your caucus, I can understand why they dropped you from the front bench. This government has no policy for forced amalgamations. There is constant reform in local government. We are constantly looking at reforms in governance and asset management. We are constantly looking at local government working better and more efficiently for the residents of this state. If a number of councils decided to amalgamate, I would be only too happy to facilitate that, but we do not have at this stage a policy of forced amalgamations.