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Overhaul shadowed for Canberra government structure

Kerces 9 November 2005 9

The Chief Minster has announced a “broad-ranging functional review of ACT government structures and programs” over the next few months.

This could be paving the way for a potential split between state and local government functions, which Brendan Smyth informs us Urban Services Minister John Hargreaves told the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors in July might happen.

The review, which will be headed by managing director of Actew Corporation Michael Costello and former Australian Treasury officer Greg Smith, has terms of reference that includes:

4. identify options to improve efficiency through more effective structures for government operations.

(Note efficiency is about good use of resources and effectiveness is about meeting goals set for oneself.)

[UPDATED: ABC Online has more on this. The Canberra Times is reporting it may be part of the Cabinet reshuffle speculation.]

So, “more effective structures for government operations” could well mean, as Mr Hargreaves told an Assembly Committee today, “instilling a local-council style ethos in the Department of Urban Services”.

There has always been tension between the local government roles and the state government roles played by the ACT Government. Indeed, many readers of the RiotACT have supported a splitting of the roles for some time now, because often the local government functions (roads, rates, rubbish) get lost in all the playing with the big boys on state matters, particularly with Jon Stanhope who tends to see big visions and not the intimate details.

Brendan Smyth thinks the splitting of the two roles is a dreadful idea, although he may just be being contrary. He said, “Needless to say, the Canberra community needs another tier of government like it needs a hole in the head. This Government has made process more bureaucratic than ever before.”

This comes as hundreds of mayors and councillors rallied at the National General Assembly of Local Government yesterday

The review team will present monthly reports to both the Chief Minister and Treasurer with a final report to be presented to the Cabinet in March next year.

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9 Responses to
Overhaul shadowed for Canberra government structure
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Mr Evil 4:53 pm 10 Nov 05


Thumper 1:32 pm 10 Nov 05


Brendan will not lose another election because he will be usurped by the Z man.

Indi 12:52 pm 10 Nov 05

The Terms of Reference point no. 1:

review the outlook for the ACT budget and identify the major medium term fiscal risks

The Aboretum springs to mind as a medium-term $12 million fiscal risk…if these guys are serious about fiscal management and the delivery of essential services, pouring this kind of money down the drain shouldn’t have even been considered.

Maelinar 12:19 pm 10 Nov 05

hahaha who are they going to put in ?

I’d love to see Deb Foskey the member responsible for planning, so she can set up her own accomodation after she has left the public house she’s currently occupying.

DT 11:38 am 10 Nov 05

What does that mean, separating state and council functions, in real terms? Effectively setting up a council? And how will that make any difference?

areaman 11:36 am 10 Nov 05

Can you imagine Hargraves’ over use of call in, especially after lunch.

Roland GRNS 10:20 am 10 Nov 05

the problem, Martin, (in the context of majority Government expecially) might be about who got Planning if Mr Corbell didn’t have it, and what the new minster’s approach to deals with business and developers – and his or her use of call in for that matter – might be.

Martin 8:20 am 10 Nov 05

I notice also (from the Canberra Times this morning) that Corbell is likely to lose Planning. Pity this didn’t happen months ago before he called in Goodwin. It’s a shame when the final decision maker (who’s powers are absolute and unaccountable) is listed in the developer’s own application as supporting the development from the get-go. Hardly an independent arbiter then. If he was, he would have let the AAT decide and due process properly followed.

johnboy 11:12 pm 09 Nov 05

I for one would love to see responsibility for garbage collection separated from law making.

I guess Brendan is terrified of having more elections to lose miserably.

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