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Gosnells Council Commended
(From Ministerial Statements 15 November 2001)

The residents of Gosnells can be confident that their council is visionary and is building a solid reputation for achievement and innovation, Local Government and Regional Development Minister Tom Stephens said today.

Speaking after a meeting today with councillors, senior council staff and local member of Parliament Paul Andrews, Mr Stephens said the council had an impressive record in servicing the needs of its community and had demonstrated it was serious about providing a sustainable and vital community.

The Minister welcomed the professionalism of the council and held it up as a role model for other local governments to adopt and learn from.

He also congratulated the council on winning six awards in the recent WA Municipal Association 2001 Best Practice Awards which included customer service, budget and community information, community programs, revitalisation of the town centre and innovative programs such as the SafeCity program.

"I was very impressed with the SafeCity initiative which the council implemented in August 1998 to reduce the level of crime in the city of Gosnells," Mr Stephens said.

"Based on the successful Safer Cities Program in the UK, which focuses on preventative measures and community involvement, the town is now seeing results for its efforts and the program is certainly one which could be adopted by other local governments.

"The revitalisation of the town centre is evidence of effective working partnerships between business, Government and the community. The City of Gosnells will rejuvenate the civic and cultural heart of the city through its efforts in design and planning."

The Minister took the opportunity to discuss the possibility of working exchanges with council employees and the Department of Local Government and Regional Development to provide valuable interaction and the sharing of knowledge, skills and expertise.

"We have so much shared intellectual capacity in the local government field and we need to capitalise on this to bolster the effectiveness of all levels of government," he said.

"Partnerships with city and country councils can also provide valuable sharing of knowledge and expertise and I encourage more councils to take advantage of learning from each other so that individual councils don't have to keep re-inventing the wheel."

In addition, the Minister suggested that due to the increasing professionalism of councils such as Gosnells, he expected there to be less need for his intervention as Minister through council investigations.

"By lifting the game on a local government level, I anticipate that my supervisory and disciplinary role will be diminished and that has to be a positive step forward," Mr Stephens said.

He said that through the efforts of such a progressive council, Gosnells was a great place to live.

Media contact: Julie Cole 9213 6500

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