Fit for the Future
In 2014 the NSW State Government announced a significant local government reform program titled Fit for the Future (FFTF).
The FFTF agenda aims to:
- Improve the overall effectiveness and strength of local government in providing infrastructure and services that communities need;
- Provide benefits to ratepayers by ensuring that councils will be financially sustainable into the future; and
- Enable Councils to be more effective strategic partners with other levels of government
The NSW State Government has also announced that councils being assessed as FFTF will have access to a broader range of benefits including access to low interest loans, priority for government funding and grants and greater planning powers.
There are four main criteria that the state government considers necessary for councils to be FFTF:
- Scale and Capacity to engage effectively across the community, government and industry
- Financial sustainability
- Effectively managing infrastructure and delivering services for the community and
The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has recently been appointed by the state government to perform the role of the Independent Expert Panel to assess how council proposals meet the FFTF criteria. Councils must prepare a submission by June 30th 2015 as to how they will meet the criteria by 2020. IPART will assess our submission and provide the state government with a report by 16th October 2015.
Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) was recommended by the Independent Local Government Review Panel to either be a stand-alone Council in a Joint Regional Organisation OR be merged with Parkes Shire Council. Previous community consultation in 2014 overwhelmingly wanted LSC to remain a stand-alone Council.