Opportunities in Change

Implementing Local Government Reform

Events - 27 Nov 2014

Perth is set to undergo a transformation of its local government areas in 2015. This process involves significant change and provides opportunities to reconsider how state and local governments work together in delivering services to the community.

This seminar will drew upon the experience of Australian and New Zealand local government reform; the keys to success and opportunities in Western Australia;and featured authors of several reports from the Australian Centre for Excellence in Local Government (ACELG).

The purpose of the seminar was to ensure that our members across State and Local government are better prepared to successfully deliver the reforms and seize the opportunities presented to enhance service delivery to citizens.

Topics included:

  • The potential benefits of the current reforms for state and local government service delivery.
  • Refocusing on the objectives of the change process.
  • Amalgamation as an enabler of future reforms to local governance.
  • Stakeholder perspective on the opportunities of the reform process.
  • The role for professional public servants in ensuring a successful local government reform process in Western Australia.
  • The essential skills for delivering the change.
  • The relevant lessons from other jurisdictions.


Liam O’Connell


Seizing the Opportunities in Perth Local Government Reform: Learning from Others?

Mr Peter McKinlay

Executive Director
McKinlay Douglas Ltd

BIO: Peter McKinlay has nearly three decades of experience as a consultant and researcher in local government, governance and organisational design, both in New Zealand and internationally. He is a Research Associate with the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies at Victoria University, Wellington, responsible for building the Institute’s focus on local government and local governance and a member of the Research Advisory Group of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum. Peter is particularly interested in how new tools, such as local authority controlled companies and other entities, can help transform the way our communities are governed, combining ‘fit for purpose’ structures with enhanced democratic accountability. In recent years much of his work has been on local government reform both in New Zealand, and in Australian states. As part of this he has led or co-authored a number of influential reports for both Australian and New Zealand peak entities and government bodies.

Download Peter McKinlay's presentation>>


Seizing the Opportunities in Perth Local Government Reform: Back to the Big Picture?

Prof. Graham Sansom
Adjunct Professor, Centre for Local Goverment
University of Technology Sydney;
Lead Author, ACELG report

BIO: Graham Sansom is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Technology, Sydney. Until the end of 2012 he was Director of the UTS Centre for Local Government, and the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government. Previously he was CEO of the Australian Local Government Association. He has advised all levels of government in Australia on public policy issues, as well as working on a wide range of international projects. In 2011 he was a member of the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Local Government. In 2012-13 he chaired the NSW Government's Independent Local Government Review and was a member of the Local Excellence Expert Panel convened by the Local Government Association of South Australia.

Download Prof. Graham Sansom's presentation>>


Opportunities for the Future

Jim Dodds
Director of Environmental Health Directorate
Department of Health

Jim Dodds has spent more than 20 years in leadership positions in the field of public health and public administration. He is currently the Director of Environmental Health for the Public Health Division at WA Health – managing five program areas, 106 employees and a budget of $15 million. Some of Jim’s past roles have included senior executive roles at Queensland Health, in a number of Queensland local governments, and for a private engineering consultancy firm. He holds Post Graduate qualifications in Engineering Science, Public Health and Occupational Health.

Download  Jim Dodds' presentation>>