The Expert Panels Ideas for Reform

The Exert panel has handed down, as I reported earlier today, its interim report. Except it is not a list of recommendations. Recognizing them as controversial they deem them their ideas for everyone to consider.

The panel went to great pains at the AIUS luncheon today to express that they expect criticism, that they expect the Minister to be not happy to hand over some of his current powers, for councils not to be happy etc etc. They woud be worried they say if they dont get criticsim.

What Brian Hayes QC and his panel members did today was raise a whole heap of questions as far as I am concerned rather than a blueprint for making the system better. I will blog later on my thoughts regarding the proposal.

Suffice it to say that they believe there should be a State Planning Commission, set up as a statutory body. This body would replace two current Government Departments. By doing this they believe it is appropriate to switch the time invested by elected members, State and Local, from administrative tasks to visionary tasks.

Under this body there would be a series of Regional Bodies made up form representatives from State & Local Government and with Independent Members, one of who should be the Chair. Such bodies would be funded partially by the State and partially by Local Governments.

They have not proposed how many Regional Bodies there would be. They are asking us to tell them how many there should be. So reports in the media today that there is only 3, or 14 are incorrect.

Each regional body would in turn appoint only independent members to their own Regional Development Assessment Panel (DAP). That means no elected member of any council would be admitted to the panel.

They also propose that there be consistent zoning between local or regional development plans.

There is much more to take in and I will leave that for now.

In the meantime, as the Panel members are saying it is best that the community has a say early in the piece, so you have an opportunity to have your say about their ideas. Have your say.

Check out the report on their ideas or check out their website and make your observations to the panel via that website or by writing to them at GPO Box 1815 Adelaide SA 5001.

I will be and I expect Council will likewise. We have until 26th September.

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