Minister for Local Government (New South Wales)
|Minister for Local Government|
|Office of Local Government|
|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.
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. 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. 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.
In February 1936 the Department merged with the Public Works department to become the "Department of Works and Local Government". 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. This body then became the Department of Local Government again on 8 June 1944. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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:
- Port Macquarie-Hastings Council in 2008 (Incompetence).
- City of Wollongong in 2008 (Corruption).
- Tweed Shire in 2005 (Corruption).
- City of Liverpool in 2004 (Incompetence).
- Walgett Shire in 2004 (Incompetence).
- Rylstone Shire in 2004 (Incompetence).
- Municipality of Leichhardt in 1953 (Corruption).
- Warringah Council in 1967 (Corruption), 1985 and 2003 (Failed public expectations).
- City of Maitland in 1997 (Disgraceful conduct of councillors).
- Municipality of Randwick in 1973 (Corruption).
List of ministers
|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||139 days|
Former ministerial titles
|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|
- "Refreshed NSW cabinet sworn in". Sky News. Australia. AAP. 30 January 2017. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
- "Local Government Branch [Public Works Department]". NSW State Records. NSW Government. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
- "Department of Local Government [I]". NSW State Records. NSW Government. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
- "Department of Works and Local Government". NSW State Records. NSW Government. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
- "Department of Local Government and Housing". NSW State Records. NSW Government. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
- "Department of Local Government [II]". NSW State Records. NSW Government. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
- "Department of Local Government [III]". NSW State Records. NSW Government. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
- "Department of Local Government and Co-operatives". NSW State Records. NSW Government. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
- "Department of Local Government [IV]". NSW State Records. NSW Government. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
- Black, Sophie (4 March 2008). "Australia’s dodgiest local councils — a Crikey list". Crikey. Retrieved 25 September 2015.