Minister for Local Government (New South Wales)

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Minister for Local Government
Coat of Arms of New South Wales.svg
Incumbent
Gabrielle Upton

since 30 January 2017
Office of Local Government
Style The Honourable
Nominator Premier of New South Wales
Appointer Governor of New South Wales
Inaugural holder John Daniel FitzGerald
Formation 15 November 1916
Website Office of Local Government

The New South Wales Minister for Local Government is a minister in the New South Wales Government and has responsibilities which includes all local government areas and related legislation in New South Wales, the most primary of which is the Local Government Act 1993. The minister administers the portfolio through the Office of Local Government, an agency of the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

The current minister is Gabrielle Upton since 30 January 2017, who assists the senior departmental minister, the Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts.[1]

Office history[edit]

With the significant expansion of Local Government areas in the early 1900s the first formal government body with the specific responsibility for Local Government was established by the Local Government (Shires) Act, 1905, which created the "Local Government Branch" of the Public Works Department on 9 December 1905. On 5 January 1906 the Secretary for Public Works was charged with its administration.[2] On 15 March 1915 the Local Government Branch was made independent as the "Department of Local Government" and the process of its full establishment culminated with the appointment of the first Minister for Local Government on 15 November 1916, John Daniel FitzGerald. Fitzgerald was responsible for steering through the first major piece of legislation dealing with local government regulations and powers in the Local Government Act 1919.[3] The new Act provided for the establishment of County Councils to enable Municipalities and Shires to combine for the carrying out of large works that affected more than one district, most prominently in the area of electricity supply, with the Sydney County Council being a prime example.[3]

In February 1936 the Department merged with the Public Works department to become the "Department of Works and Local Government".[4] On 2 June 1941, this short-lived department was abolished and "Department of Local Government and Housing" succeeded it. The then Minister for Local Government and Housing took on responsibilities for social housing in the state.[5] This body then became the Department of Local Government again on 8 June 1944.[6] In 1948 the new Minister Joseph Cahill was responsible for moving the most significant reform to local government since 1919 when he passed through the Local Government (Areas) Act 1948, which placed the City of Sydney within the regulations of the 1919 act (by repealing the Sydney Corporations Act 1932) and entailed large-scale amalgamations of local councils in Sydney.

On 6 November 1981 the Department was abolished and replaced by the "Local Government Office" of the Department of Local Government and Lands. On 29 February 1984 a new Department of Local Government replaced the functions of the Office of Local Government.[7] This Department of Local Government was amalgamated with the Registry of Co-operatives on 1 July 1991 to create the Department of Local Government and Co-operatives headed by the Minister for Local Government and Co-operatives.[8] The second minister of this title, Garry West, was responsible for the passing of the Local Government Act 1993, which repealed the 1919 act, modernised the controls and powers of Local Government and formalised the command structure with the Minister at its head. This continues to be the main piece of legislation operated by the Minister today. On 6 April 1995 the responsibility for co-operatives was transferred to the Department of Consumer Affairs.[9]

On 1 July 2009 the Department of Local Government was abolished and its functions were transferred to the Department of Premier and Cabinet as the Office of Local Government.[9] In 2011 these functions were moved to the Department of Planning and Environment.

The minister has always had significant powers to regulate and control the operations of local governments. Currently, under section 255 of the Local Government Act 1993, the Minister has the power initiate investigations or a public inquiry into the behaviours of councillors and council staff and, if the findings are against the council's ability to operate within the law or public expectations, the minister can then recommend to the Governor for dismissal of the council. Prominent examples of this occurring under the 1993 Act and previous Acts include:

List of ministers[edit]

Local government[edit]

Minister Party affiliation Ministerial title Term start Term end Time in office
John FitzGerald Nationalist Minister for Local Government 15 November 1916 12 April 1920 3 years, 149 days
Thomas Mutch Labor 12 April 1920 10 October 1921
George Cann 10 October 1921 20 December 1921
John Fitzpatrick Nationalist 20 December 1921 20 December 1921 0 days
George Cann Labor 20 December 1921 13 April 1922
John Fitzpatrick Nationalist 13 April 1922 17 June 1925
George Cann Labor 17 June 1925 24 March 1926
Joseph Fitzgerald 24 March 1926 26 May 1927
Tom Keegan 26 May 1927 18 October 1927
Michael Bruxner Country 18 October 1927 3 November 1930
William McKell Labor 4 November 1930 17 June 1931
James McGirr 17 June 1931 15 October 1931
Labor (NSW) 15 October 1931 13 May 1932
Michael Bruxner Country 16 May 1932 17 June 1932
Joseph Jackson United Australia 18 June 1932 14 February 1933
Eric Spooner 15 February 1933 21 July 1939
Bertram Stevens 21 July 1939 5 August 1939
Alexander Mair 5 August 1939 16 August 1939
Lewis Martin 16 August 1939 16 May 1941
James McGirr Labor Minister for Local Government and Housing 16 May 1941 8 June 1944 3 years, 23 days
Joseph Cahill Minister for Local Government 8 June 1944 23 February 1953 8 years, 260 days
Jack Renshaw 23 February 1953 28 October 1959 6 years, 247 days
Pat Hills 28 October 1959 13 May 1965 5 years, 197 days
Pat Morton Liberal 13 May 1965 19 June 1972 7 years, 37 days
Charles Cutler Country 19 June 1972 16 December 1975
Col Fisher Liberal 17 December 1975 23 January 1976
Tom Lewis 23 January 1976 14 May 1976
Harry Jensen Labor 14 May 1976 2 October 1981
Lin Gordon 2 October 1981 10 February 1984
Kevin Stewart 10 February 1984 1 January 1986
Peter Anderson 1 January 1986 6 February 1986
Janice Crosio 6 February 1986 21 March 1988
David Hay Liberal 25 March 1988 6 June 1991
Gerry Peacocke Country 6 June 1991 26 May 1993
Garry West Minister for Local Government and Co-operatives 26 May 1993 27 June 1994
Ted Pickering Liberal 27 June 1994 4 April 1995
Ernie Page Labor Minister for Local Government 4 April 1995 8 April 1999
Harry Woods 8 April 1999 2 April 2003
Tony Kelly 2 April 2003 3 August 2005
Kerry Hickey 3 August 2005 2 April 2007
Paul Lynch 2 April 2007 5 September 2008
Barbara Perry 8 September 2008 28 March 2011
Don Page National 2 April 2011 23 April 2014 3 years, 21 days
Paul Toole 23 April 2014 30 January 2017 2 years, 282 days
Gabrielle Upton Liberal 30 January 2017 incumbent 56 days

Former ministerial titles[edit]

Assistant Ministers[edit]

Minister Party affiliation Ministerial title Term start Term end Time in office
Joseph Fitzgerald Labor Assistant Minister for Local Government 17 June 1925 24 March 1926 280 days
Jack Renshaw Labor Assistant Minister for Local Government 3 April 1952 23 February 1953 326 days

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Refreshed NSW cabinet sworn in". Sky News. Australia. AAP. 30 January 2017. Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  2. ^ "Local Government Branch [Public Works Department]". NSW State Records. NSW Government. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Department of Local Government [I]". NSW State Records. NSW Government. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  4. ^ "Department of Works and Local Government". NSW State Records. NSW Government. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  5. ^ "Department of Local Government and Housing". NSW State Records. NSW Government. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "Department of Local Government [II]". NSW State Records. NSW Government. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  7. ^ "Department of Local Government [III]". NSW State Records. NSW Government. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  8. ^ "Department of Local Government and Co-operatives". NSW State Records. NSW Government. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "Department of Local Government [IV]". NSW State Records. NSW Government. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c d e Black, Sophie (4 March 2008). "Australia's dodgiest local councils — a Crikey list". Crikey. Retrieved 25 September 2015. 

External links[edit]