Laws can only be made when authorised by the Act or other written
laws but cannot be inconsistent with any State or federal law. The types
of laws made by local governments cover areas such as car parking,
activities on thoroughfares, public places and council and committee
Other accountability mechanisms impacting on local laws are:
- The local community, which under the Act is required to be consulted on proposed local laws.
Minister for Local Government,
who is charged with administering the Department of Local Government,
Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC), which monitors local law making.
power of the Minister to request the Governor to make local laws that
repeal or amend local laws or prevent certain local laws being made.
- The courts, which can pronounce on the validity of local laws.
Role of the department
The department monitors and provides an advisory function to assist local governments
with the making of their local laws. It works closely with the Western
Australian Local Government Association and the Joint Standing Committee
on Delegated Legislation to ensure that the content of proposed local
laws complies with legislative requirements.
The Act requires
that copies of proposed laws be forwarded to the Minister for Local
Government and other relevant State Ministers in fulfilment of these
functions. The department examines the proposed local laws on behalf of the
Minister and gives specific consideration to the following:
- whether the proposed local law is adopted under the correct Act of Parliament
- whether the proposed local law is in conflict with the Act and any other law
- matters raised previously by the Joint Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation, and
- State Government policy issues.
Role of the Joint Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation
Joint Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation is a committee of the
Western Australian Parliament comprising eight members with equal
representation from the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly.
a local law is gazetted it is referred to the committee for
consideration under its terms of reference. Where the committee finds
that a local law offends one or more of its terms of reference it will
usually seek a written undertaking from the local government to amend or
repeal the instrument in question.
Where a local government does
not comply with the committee’s request for an undertaking the committee
may, as a last resort, resolve to report to the Parliament recommending
the disallowance of the instrument in the Legislative Council.
local law will cease to have effect from the date on which it is
disallowed. Where the local law amended or repealed another local law
the earlier local law will be revived on and after the day of
Local laws process
In making a local law, a
local government must follow the procedure set out in Division 2, Part 3
of the Act. The procedural steps are outlined in the local laws process
Statutory procedures checklist
Section 3.12(1) of the Act
states that the local law making process must be followed in the
sequence in which it is described. This is outlined in the
statutory procedures checklist.