Clarence City Councillors have tonight voted to support a motion from Mayor Brendan Blomeley to put the wheels in motion to re-establish a Partnership Agreement on Communication and Consultation between the Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) and the Tasmanian Government.
Mayor Blomeley’s motion authorises the Chief Executive Officer to write to LGAT and request that a motion be placed on the agenda for the next General Meeting seeking:
- Support from Tasmanian Councils for the renegotiation of the Partnership Agreement on Communication and Consultation 2003 (Partnership Agreement), between the Tasmanian Government and Councils;
- That LGAT seek agreement in principle from the Tasmanian Government to renew the Partnership Agreement, subject to the negotiation of new terms; and
- That, in pursuit of a new Partnership Agreement, LGAT establish a working group comprising council representatives to develop the key terms of a new Partnership Agreement.
Around 2003, the Tasmanian Government and LGAT agreed a Partnership Agreement on Communication and Consultation, but Mayor Blomeley said the Partnership Agreement was discontinued by the State Government a few years ago.
“Since the agreement has not been in place, critical issues with the Tasmanian Government’s approach to consultation with the local government sector have emerged,” Mayor Blomeley said.
“That agreement provided a clear process for communication and consultation between government and the local government sector.
“As we have seen with the establishment of the Development Assessment Panels, and again more recently with the State Fire Service Levy legislation, councils are among the last to know about significant proposals or pieces of legislation which impact councils and our residents directly.”
“The Tasmanian Government’s approach to communication and consultation with Tasmanian Councils does not reflect good practice, varies from issue to issue, and in several instances, appears to treat councils with a level of disrespect.”
Mayor Blomeley said there also appears to be no ‘standardised’ approach to consultation by the Tasmanian Government, which has resulted in significant concerns related to proposed regulatory changes.
“Time and time again we have seen the Government push ahead with its own agenda without proper engagement with the local government sector. Time and again we hear from Mayors and Councillors that there are failures by the Tasmanian Government to genuinely consult, and it is clear from recent feedback that, collectively, we have had enough,” he said.