Innovation Unveiled Enhancing Councils Regional Strategic Planning Capacity


Local Government Professionals Australia, NSW is unveiling a significant suite of new innovations this month at the inaugural Australasian LG Performance Excellence Program Results Forum in Sydney. For the first time, the presentation of the latest fourth year results will incorporate not only New South Wales councils, but also peers from New Zealand and Western Australia.
At the forum LG Professionals, NSW will deliver the program’s latest results and facilitate in collaboration with PwC a live demonstration of the newly upgraded Council Comparative Analysis Tool that accompanies councils report.
And for the first time the program’s initiators will be revealing a new Regional Window feature for the tool, which will support Regional Organisations of Councils (ROCs), Joint Organisation (JOs) and other collaborations to strengthen their regional planning approach.
LG Professionals, NSW President Barry Smith says the new Regional Window will deliver unique results to NSW councils with inbuilt potential to create a regional perspective of their combined current and future workforce profile and capacity, as well as their service reach, structure and effectiveness.
“We now stand on the cusp of a significant opportunity to leverage this program’s foundational work even more deeply and develop a lasting strategic asset of real power for the regions as well as for councils individually,” Mr Smith said.
“This is due to the efforts of the 69 NSW councils already involved - and the new councils joining in upcoming Survey 5. They have worked consistently with a bigger picture in mind to support the entire sector and their areas, and because of that, we are now able to further leverage this asset and provide additional benefits to all ROCs or future JOs.”
Chief Executive Officer Annalisa Haskell explains that LG Professionals, NSW continues to put councils first in everything done at the association “We have been actively engaging with the sector, key stakeholders and the NSW Government for almost five years to ensure real and enduring performance improvement across the sector.”
“I realised that if we have already captured elements of each council’s workforce capacity and services it would be possible to present this information collectively in an additional feature to support regional planning,” Ms Haskell said.
“In a single window tailored for each region, the data effectively sizes and scopes capacity, resources and delivery profiles, making comparative regional management planning a seamless process.”
"The power of the Regional Window is its scalability to assist improved regional planning in whatever form - be it ROCs, Joint Organisations or other collaborations - as its goal is to ensure all councils have the ability to strengthen their longer term regional planning approach.
“Just as every council has unique elements, regions too can also be different. What’s fantastic about the idea of the Regional Window is that it will give a holistic perspective on the nature of each region’s delivery capacity as a partner with state government, and it will be scalable and adaptable to suit every region.”
“As a smaller organisation ourselves, trying to punch above our weight in delivering real solutions, our council partners have taught us a lot by allowing us to explore and challenge traditional thinking with the creation of new ideas by broadening our perspective of what’s possible. This has allowed us to develop significant new ideas for enduring innovations and we hope this is just another example of that.”
Ms Haskell says one of the great strengths of the Australasian LG Performance Excellence Program is that, it has been able to put councils in the smallest regions in touch and on the same footing with some of the biggest regions, including Auckland City Council with over a million people.
“Each of them understands the significance of continuing in this collective model and how their own contribution, no matter how large or small, helps drive with energy and commitment a sector-wide accountability for its own innovative solutions,’ Ms Haskell said.  “This motivates PwC and ourselves to also push further in support of their needs”.
The details of the Regional Window concept will be outlined at the Performance Excellence Program Forum hosted in collaboration with PwC at their new offices at Barangaroo Sydney on April 27.
LG Professionals, NSW has engaged their regional, interstate and international partners and worked with PwC to ensure the event can be accessed digitally for those participants.
About LG Professionals Australia, NSW
Local Government Professionals Australia, NSW is the leading association representing all professionals in NSW local government and is part of a national federation of associations. The organisation is committed to maintaining high professional and ethical standards and ensuring that its members are at the forefront of leadership, change and innovation.
Joel Schubert