Decentralisation of state government agencies, and in particular those whose primary focus is in regional areas.
It makes sense that the bureaucracy presenting reports on our urban and regional resources have some real connection with them. Our government agencies need to be located where the action is. To do otherwise limits their knowledge of what they regulate to data that is collated, statistically represented, and distilled into “facts” that may or may not represent the real situation. Their distance from their areas of oversight exposes them to influence from groups with political agendas and media hype. In recent years we have twice seen what happens when government reacts emotionally to media reports on live animal export. DEWLP and Parks Victoria are two obvious examples of agencies that need to go bush.
There is a distinct feeling that the government is making decisions that best suit the densely populated areas which have a higher density of voters than for the good of Victoria as a whole. Whilst the impact of these decisions cannot be fully seen immediately, some future government will be left with the over consuming task of fixing the consequences. We insist that government govern for the people and future of Victoria and not for political advantage.
Moving government departments to regional areas will inject government funds into regional economies, getting more of their tax dollars back to where they came from.
A complete review of the organisational structures of councils including the powers of the CEO and senior staff, accountability, and processes for monitoring capital expenditure.
The responsibilities that come with governing our communities should not be underestimated. While the role of councillors is important, the usual motivations for running leads to a shallow talent pool. This leaves us with some local councils being run by the CEO and other senior staff with little oversight and almost no-one to provide guidance on their priorities.
A complete review of the structures of local government will help clarify what is and is not expected of councillors and the powers and responsibilities of senior council staff, especially when it comes to capital expenditure programs.
Local councils are not mentioned in the Australian constitution but have since developed into a pseudo third tier of government. We do not believe councils should have powers of law enforcement, these matters should be passed on to the police and courts. The roles that councils now play often duplicate state government services and should be reduced to local services not provided by the government.