Keep Local Government Local

Local governments should remain in public hands – delivered by locals for locals. Let’s resist moves to outsource our essential services to the lowest bidder.

The McGowan Government is currently conducting two reviews, which could impact the delivery of local government services in this state.

These reviews could result in:

-      privatisation of essential local services

-      outsourcing of jobs and lower wages

-      more insecure work across the local government sector

-      a lack of transparency and accountability to the community

The WA Local Government Association (WALGA) wants councils to be allowed to outsource essential services to profit-seeking corporations. These so-called beneficial enterprises are just the first step towards privatisation. The Department of Local Government has released these fact sheets to introduce the idea to the WA public.

WALGA wants to follow the lead of Victoria and New Zealand, where it has become common practice for external boards to own council assets valued at hundreds of millions of dollars. These corporations are run on a completely commercial, profit-driven basis.

That’s why we need our voices to be heard.

The Australian Services Union is the only Union that represents all Local Government workers, and constantly seeks to fight for members' rights and the retention of the hard fought-for conditions and industry standards that our members enjoy. ASU has registered State Awards for both Local Government Officers and Municipal Employees to make sure that members have not been disadvantaged by legislative changes that put most councils into the Federal Industrial Relations System

The Keep Local Government Local campaign aims to:

  • Stop Privatisation: We cannot allow WALGA to persuade the State Government to allow councils to outsource essential services to profit-seeking corporations. These corporations, which WALGA call ‘beneficial enterprises’ would be given our public assets and controlled by an unelected board of directors. They would be free to cut wages fatten profits ready for sale to the highest bidder.

  • Improve Local Employment Conditions: Western Australian councils should be subject to our own laws, rather than being controlled by Canberra. The WA Industrial Relations commission is far superior to the Federal Fair Work Commission, with two superior awards that protect workers’ rights. Let’s stop the confusion and ensure all council workers are protected by our state system.

  • Prevent compulsory tendering: Smaller metro and regional councils can’t compete on price with against large-scale external contractors. In Victoria, where compulsory tendering has been introduced, more and more local services are being outsourced to big multinational companies, resulting in fewer jobs, lower pay for workers, money being shipped overseas, and services being provided by companies far removed from the ratepayers they serve.

If you agree that we should keep local government local, there are a number of ways to help support our campaign.

  1. Become a member
    Talk to your ASU Delegate or Organiser. Join online using the ‘Join’ tab or download the form in the same tab.

  2. Sign our parliamentary petition
    Contact your local ASU organiser to sign our physical petition.

  3. Sign our online petition
    Sign and share our online petition here.

  4. Follow our campaign on Facebook
    Keep up to date with our campaign and help us spread the word here.

  5. Attend a community consultation forum
    Make your voice heard and tell the State Government to keep local government local. Details of upcoming forums can be found here. As more community engagement events are announced, we will keep you updated via our Facebook page.


For more information on our campaign, read our brochure here and our submission to the Local Government Review here. Read the fact sheets about the reforms released by the Department of Local Government here.