GOVERNMENT RESPONSE — LOCAL GOVERNMENT
322. Hon PETER COLLIER to the Leader of the House representing the Minister for Local
I ask this question on behalf of Hon
Simon O'Brien, who is on urgent parliamentary business.
(1) Can the minister advise the house how the
considerable resources of local government is being incorporated into
the government's response to the COVID crisis?
(2) Who are the
key state government personnel tasked with coordinating the state government's
I thank the honourable member for
some notice of the question.
(1) The state
government has asked local governments to get their business continuity plans
in order and to implement a number of measures to support their communities in
response to the spread of COVID-19. These include, but are not limited to,
freezing their household rates, fees and charges in line with the state
government's commitment to households and businesses; fast track
project approvals to create new employment at a time of significant
unemployment; use the local government workforce of 22 000 people to ensure
measures are implemented immediately, including reaching out to local police
and health authorities to offer workforce assistance; use their budgets and
borrowing capacity to stimulate their economies and help create jobs through
construction programs and road construction programs to keep local communities
in the workforce; and do everything possible to work for their communities.
Local governments are developing
responses that best suit the needs of their community. Also, the Department of
Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries is supporting the Western Australian
Local Government Association in its role of coordinator of local government
action. A representative of WALGA is on the State Emergency Management
(2) I am engaging
with local government on a weekly basis through a webinar arranged by WALGA.
State government personnel at all levels are working to support local
governments and their communities in this time of crisis in our state, with
responses being coordinated at senior levels. Our State Emergency Coordinator
and pandemic policy unit in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet are
leading the whole-of-government response.