Political reform on business agenda

LAUNCESTON Chamber of Commerce executive officer Maree Tetlow said yesterday she was surprised by the strength of chamber members' views on achieving political reform.

Surveys were distributed to 227 members in the lead-up to the state election to gauge what reforms were most important to their businesses and the state.

The 95 members who responded by February 7 identified four key areas where changes could be made.

Among them were improving the efficiency of government departments and business entities, as well as reviewing the political system to create a greater chance of delivering majority governments.

Local governments came in for close scrutiny in the survey.

Ms Tetlow said 76 per cent of respondents said it was critically important to ensure greater co- operation between councils.

"Members identified measures such as councils sharing services and assets to achieve greater outcomes," she said.

"Other solutions flagged were stripping away duplication and encouraging councils to work together to secure contracts."

Seventy-three per cent of members strongly supported merging local councils.

Ms Tetlow said exploring the measure could improve efficiency. "Some councils are too small to maximise the services they need to deliver," she said.

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