Key Questions

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1.What operational functions will remain with existing Councils, what strategic functions would be taken over by a regional organisation, how would other functions to be jointly carried out by the regional organisation and council be determined?

2.Could Walgett Shire choose to stand alone and become a member of a regional organisation based on Dubbo where its regional centre of interest lies?

3.Is there a clear definition of what constitutes a rural council available yet, and if not, when will this be available?

4. Where would a regional organisation, serving Far Western NSW, be based?

5.How would a regional organisation be funded?

6. Would existing far western councils continue to receive the full FAGs grants that they currently receive?

7. How would the membership of the board of a regional organisation be determined?  Would it comprise only elected local government members or would there be ministerial appointments?

8.When would a regional organisation commence operations?

9.How would staff be appointed to a regional organisation?

10.Would there be seed funding available to set up a regional organisation similar to the $300,000 be mooted for other regional organisations?

11.If existing Councils can prove their ongoing financial viability and sustainability why is there a need to proceed with the Far West Initiative?

12.To what extent have the various State and Federal Government agencies been consulted about the Far West Initiative and when and how was this done?

13.Have the T-Corp calculations with regards to financial viability of the existing Far Western councils been reviewed and what was the outcome?

14.What current State and Federal Agency functions be devolved to local councils if the Far West Initiative proceeds and how would these be funded?

15. Action is being taken to stop cost shifting onto local councils by higher tiers of government?

16.Will the Outback Shires Alliance still be able to share resources if the Far West Initiative goes ahead?

17.Given that it has now been ascertained that 85% of the expenditure by state agencies in the Western Division is for the functions of policing, health, education and family services, and that this was information not available to the Independent Local Government Review Panel at the time it carried out its research, can proceeding with the Panel’s recommendations still be justified?

18.When will details of the Federal Government’s spending in the Western Division be available, and are arrangements currently in place to source this information?

19.Is there a way to ensure that the reform measures being contemplated don’t lead to another level of bureaucracy and associated duplication of governance?

20.Why is it necessary to go outside the democratic election process when making appointments to the Board of the proposed regional organisation?