Question put forward to the Hon. B.V. FINNIGAN (Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for State/Local Government Relations, Minister for Gambling) regarding State And Local Government Relations
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14:41): Does the agreement cover waste management issues and, in particular, the government's unilateral decision without consultation with local government to increase the solid waste levy?
The Hon. B.V. FINNIGAN (Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for State/Local Government Relations, Minister for Gambling) (14:42): The State and Local Government Relations Agreement is a document which sets out the parameters and the framework under which the relationship between state and local governments will function. The idea is to ensure that we have the most productive and constructive relationship that we can between the two levels of government.
One of the provisions of the agreement is to ensure that there are regular opportunities for the state government and the local governments to come together to discuss issues of mutual concern. It would really be rather extraordinary if a relations agreement between the two levels of government was expected to cover every single issue that might come up in the period of the agreement. Of course, it could not possibly do so.
The Hon. J.M.A. Lensink interjecting:
The Hon. B.V. FINNIGAN: The Hon. Ms Lensink has just said that local government is not about is roads and rubbish—
The Hon. J.M.A. Lensink: No I did not say that.
The Hon. B.V. FINNIGAN: We know that is simply not correct, and it shows a complete lack of understanding of what local governments do in this state and the services they provide to their ratepayers.
Of course, the agreement between local government and the state government does not cover the minutiae of every interaction, every piece of legislation that is going to affect local governments, and nor should it. The administration of any particular functions will of course be covered by the relevant legislation and regulations, which are tabled in the houses of Parliament.