Councillor Don Palmer Providing Local Leadership & Working for You

Local Communities will benefit from revised LGA Training Standards designed to improve Local Government Leadership.



Minister Geoff Brock

Minister Geoff Brock

Revised LGA Training Standards were officially announced yesterday by the Minister Geoff Brock MP. He said council member training will contain a suite of core leadership competencies with defined learning objectives and outcomes.

The Standards will give first-time and re-elected members necessary training appropriate to each about their behavioural, civic, legal, strategic and financial responsibilities as councillors and mayors. LGA President Angela Evans says this is a positive shift to meet new legislative requirements, build leadership capability in the sector, invest in our community leaders, and focus on building a team culture to deliver better community outcomes.


This is welcome news and should improve local government leadership. It will build on the advances implemented at Unley in my time and local communities will benefit.


When Peter Hughes (councillor Fullarton Ward) & I commenced as elected members in the City of Unley back in 2010 we found the induction process to be sadly wanting. With two other councillors, we sought to correct this. Because of our efforts a formal induction program was established. A program which consequently was ushered in the new Council in 2014.

We recognised that new members of the council faced a steep learning curve. A learning curve like no other in life. We recognised likewise the need for training to be delivered as soon as practicable without overburdening the new member.

The next council, elected in 2018, saw our induction program grow. With 7 new members at the time, we recognised a need for ensuring we could work together as a team. The current council benefitted from this initiative. It has helped us to be a productive council. While we were a council with diverse views, we were able to agree on key strategic and policy settings.


This is a positive shift to not just meet new legislative requirements but to build leadership capability in the LG industry. This is an investment in our community leaders. Local communities will benefit therefore as a direct result.


We will deliver the program in two parts. Firstly, we will implement an induction program that must be completed within twelve months. Subsequently a follow-up fresher will occur mid-term. A program with four mandatory modules. The details of each module can be found on the LGA training website if you are interested.

The training standards, driven by the LGA and the local industry at large, are enshrined in legislation, implemented by the Marshall Liberal Government.


With 4 retirements, including one (Jennie) from the Clarence Park Ward this training becomes an important strategy to ensure you get the representation you require and deserve.


We saw this last time with 4 retirements in the last election (2018) heralded 7 new faces. Given we will see at least 4 again this time round the same will apply.

Returning members will have a responsibility to assist with this training. They will need to be ready to assist the new members to avoid the challenges Peter Hughes and I faced back in 2010.

I for one, assuming I am returned, am committed to help the newer members find their feet. In particular I will be keen to work with whoever my co-councillor will be.

This article was written & authorised by Don Palmer. 19 Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park.