On Wednesday, for the first time in Local Government history, mayors and presidents from across Australian agreed to support national development of minimum standards at the ALGA National General Assembly in Canberra according to President of Central Desert Regional Council Mr Adrian Dixon.
The Council submitted the motion to the Australian Local Government Association National General Assembly as it recognised the need for a national approach to standards. “Development of a national approach to minimum standards can strengthen local communities and harness efforts for local community benefit.” President Dixon said. The motion to ALGA was the culmination of work developed over two years by Mr Edward Fraser, Director Central Desert Regional Council.
Mr Fraser who was invited to speak on global standards at a US China Congress in Beijing in May highlighted the power of the sector sharing and working to an agreed set of minimum standards will free up resources that can be reallocated to services or infrastructure.
“With less government funding its time to review options to support greater industry self regulation and ensure we are efficient. Minimum standards around governance, planning, performance, contracting, various direct services and community engagement are a common theme for the 550 Local Governments nationally.
With over 100,000 local government related agencies in North America, UK, Russia and China alone the opportunity to share what works and also our stuff ups is a gold mine,” Mr Fraser said.
“The challenge is for the sector to find time to invest into development of our own minimum standards. These standards will improve standardisation of practice and support efficient service delivery globally whilst supporting innovation, and building on the uniqueness of each community, its culture and geographical difference. An agency led standards and performance approach in Australia will strengthen approaches to improved service provision, reduced duplication, and improved productivity”, Mr Fraser said.
“Two percent improvement in productivity was found at our agency by reviewing roles and organisational structure. If relevant to other agencies and translated across Australia we can be adding $600 million can be re invested back into community services or infrastructure.
We don’t measure services well so we really don’t know how big the opportunity is in Australia, and if replicated globally the figure goes into the tens of billions.
We need national performance information being consistently publicly collected and its our time to do this and build on various work such as Victoria’s current legislated KPIs.”
For further information please contact Edward Fraser 0417 392 157.