State-wide policies and programs in Western Australia are often framed around the needs of the majority of the State’s population, which is based in the greater Perth metropolitan area.
These policies and programs do not always take account of the significant differences in demographics, geography, environment and economy in the regions, or the differences between regions.
The State Government will work to ensure government-funded services are outcome-focused and more responsive to the differing needs and circumstances of regions and communities.
There is opportunity for State-wide programs to be better translated into place-based services that focus on the needs and circumstances of regions and locations. This should involve making incremental changes to existing services in line with findings in the State Government’s Location-Based Expenditure Review 2014 and Aboriginal Youth Expenditure Review 2013.
These changes could include:
- using preferred regional contractors to deliver services on behalf of government
- giving longer and bigger contracts to fewer service providers to help improve their economies of scale and sustainability, and simplify performance measurement
- improved transparency and accountability by funding bodies and agencies against key regional priorities
- working to improve agency and service provider capability.
As part of its innovative approach, the State Government will also consider structural solutions for regional service delivery. This could include coordination at a regional level of service provision, government contracting and agency budget submissions.
This work would necessarily involve other funders, such as the Commonwealth Government, local governments and philanthropic and industry funders, and would engage Aboriginal families and communities in the regions about their needs.
The State Government is working with community leaders and organisations in Roebourne to co-design a reorientation of government-funded services to respond better to local needs and achieve better local outcomes. It will consult in key locations and communities about the willingness to participate in other place-based reorientation of government services.
To support this work, and other place-based projects of this type, the State Government is mapping government-funded services in the Kimberley and Pilbara and working on longer term mechanisms for the automatic collection and easier publication of this service data.
During 2016-17, the State Government will publish mapping of government-funded services in the Kimberley and Pilbara to support work between government agencies, other organisations and communities on developing place-based service systems.