Councillor questions red tape commitment

Northern Grampians Shire Councillor, Wayne Rice has questioned the State Government's commitment to reducing red tape, while agreeing not to make any alterations to the Council Plan.

Northern Grampians Shire Councillor, Wayne Rice has questioned the State Government's commitment to reducing red tape, while agreeing not to make any alterations to the Council Plan.

A NORTHERN Grampians Shire Councillor has questioned the State Government's commitment to reducing red tape, while agreeing not to make any alterations to the Council Plan.

Council was forced to review its Council Plan for 2013-17, following the passing by the State Government, of the Local Government Amendment (Performance Reporting and Accountability) Act 2014 and the making of the Local Government (Planning and Reporting) Regulations 2014.

These amendments resulted in changes to the information required to be included in the Strategic Resource Plan.

Cr Wayne Rice moved that the new strategic plan be adopted, but questioned at the same time, how the government claimed to be reducing red tape.

"Funding applications are often linked to the Council Plan these days," Cr Rice said.

"If we apply for government funding to get any project up and running and that particular project is not linked directly to the Council Plan, you will have very little hope of success of obtaining federal funding.

"That is why it is so important for council to have its Council Plan right. We thought we had it right and then the government came along and changed the rules and moved the goal posts on us. Then they introduced some new documents called the Strategic Resource Plan. It's a whole new set of rules.

"So just when we thought we had it right, they came and introduced all these new rules. That's what being on council is all about, continuous adjustment to suit government regulations from higher above.

"We managed to get there though and this Council Plan will certainly continue to guide us through the next two years.

"I still wonder though, what ever happened to red tape reduction?"

Cr Murray Emerson said Council Plans were very important tools for all councils.

"The four year Council Plan really is our Bible, it's what we stick to," he said.

Mayor Cr Kevin Erwin agreed that the new regulations had increased the burden on council.

"There have been some changes to the Local Government Amendment (Performance Reporting and Accountability) Act and these changes will add more burden to the reporting that council does back to the State Government," Cr Erwin said.

"Local Government is scrutinised to the enth degree and these changes, although we have always had a reporting system back to the State Government, there are some areas the government wants to take a look at."

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