National Financial Sustainability Study of Local Government

Save this PDF as:
 WORD  PNG  TXT  JPG

Size: px
Start display at page:

Download "National Financial Sustainability Study of Local Government"

Transcription

1 National Financial Sustainability Study of Local Government Commissioned by the Australian Local Government Association November

2 Disclaimer This Report has been prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) at the request of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) in our capacity as advisors in accordance with the Terms of Reference and the Terms and Conditions contained in the Consultant Agreement between ALGA and PwC. The information, statements, statistics and commentary (together the Information ) contained in this report have been prepared by PwC from publicly available material and from discussions held with stakeholders. The Consultants may in their absolute discretion, but without being under any obligation to do so, update, amend or supplement this document. PwC have based this report on information received or obtained, on the basis that such information is accurate and, where it is represented by management as such, complete. The Information contained in this report has not been subject to an Audit. The information must not be copied, reproduced, distributed, or used, in whole or in part, for any purpose other than detailed in our Consultant Agreement without the written permission of ALGA and PwC. Comments and queries can be directed to: Scott Lennon Partner Infrastructure Government & Utilities PricewaterhouseCoopers 201 Sussex Street Sydney NSW 2000 Phone: (02) Photo credits Cover page photos all from relevant local council websites and feature: Blacktown library (NSW) Brisbane Botanic Gardens (Qld) Redfern Community Centre (NSW), and Alice Springs Swimming Centre (NT).

3 Acronyms Acronym ABS ACLG ACT ALGA AMP CFO CGC CPI DOTARS EU FAGs FAGs Act GDP GST LCIRF LGANT LGAQ LGASA LGAT LGB LGGC LGIS MAV MPMP NCC NCP NSW NSW LGSA NT NZ PwC Qld QTC Meaning Australian Bureau of Statistics Australian Classification of Local Governments Australian Capital Territory Australian Local Government Association asset management plan Chief Financial Officer Commonwealth Grants Commission Consumer Price Index Department of Transport and Regional Services (Commonwealth) European Union Financial Assistance Grants Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995 (Cth) gross domestic product goods and services tax Local Community Infrastructure Renewals Fund Local Government Association of the Northern Territory Local Government Association of Queensland Local Government Association of South Australia Local Government Association of Tasmania Local Governing Body Local Government Grants Commission Local Government Infrastructure Services, Qld Municipal Association of Victoria Municipal Performance Measurement Program in Ontario, Canada. National Competition Council National Competition Policy New South Wales NSW Local Government and Shires Association Northern Territory New Zealand PricewaterhouseCoopers Queensland Queensland Treasury Corporation

4 Acronym RA RS RT R2R SA SCEFPA SPP SSS Tas UC UCV UF UM UR UK WA WALGA Meaning Rural Agricultural (ACLG category) Rural Significant Growth (ACLG category) Rural Remote (ACLG category) Roads to Recovery Funding Program South Australia Standing Committee on Economics, Finance and Public Administration Specific Purpose Payments Qld Size, Shape and Sustainability Review Tasmania Urban Capital City (ACLG category) Unimproved Capital Value Urban Fringe (ACLG category) Urban Metropolitan Developed (ACLG category) Urban Regional Towns/City United Kingdom Western Australia Western Australia Local Government Association

5 Contents Executive Summary 3 1 Introduction 18 2 Overview of the local government sector 41 3 Financial governance and fiscal relationships 87 4 Analysis of financial sustainability of local government 95 5 Potential options for reform Conclusions and recommendations 150 Appendix A Terms of Reference 157 Appendix B Definition of Financial Sustainability Indicators 159

6 Executive Summary The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to undertake an independent analysis of the financial sustainability of local government in Australia. The full terms of reference and scope are provided in Appendix A. The objective of this study is to assist ALGA, in collaboration with state and territory local government associations, to develop a detailed plan to: enable councils to better meet their fiscal obligations as well as the growing demands for infrastructure and services, and provide a sound approach for targeted support to local government for consideration by other spheres of government. In summary, the terms of reference for this study require PwC to: assess the current and long-term viability of the local government nationally and by council types including the trends and differences, identify the key financial issues affecting financial sustainability, develop recommendations for improved financial sustainability (eg financial skills and potential sources of additional revenue), and investigate the merit of reforming intergovernmental funding to develop a new model to improve sustainability. The intention of this project is to provide a high level strategic national study that draws on the detailed analysis of a number of state based sustainability studies, in order to provide an indication of the sustainability of the nationwide local government sector. The resources available to complete this study preclude an in-depth and individual analysis of each of the 700 councils. The diversity of the sector also makes it difficult to provide a detailed how to guide for improving sustainability that would apply to the varying circumstances of each council. Therefore, this study assesses key characteristics that contribute to the councils currently at risk of sustainability problems, and develops a range of internal and funding reform options that target these issues to improve the longterm sustainability of the sector as a whole. Background Context of Local Government Local government in Australia is a dynamic and diverse sector that combines the individual character and operations of councils. Executive Summary 3

7 Councils are very diverse in size and shape from Brisbane City Council (population 950,000 and annual expenditure of approximately $1.7 billion) to very small councils like Jerilderie Shire (population 1,908 and annual expenditure $6.8 million). Consistent with these diverse characteristics, the financial position of individual councils also varies substantially. Local government plays an integral role in the Australian economy and within local communities. In terms of economic activity, local government has an annual expenditure of over $20 billion, which represents around 2% of GDP, and employs around 1.3% of the Australian labour force. Moreover, local government provides a significant proportion of the essential services and infrastructure that underpins all local and regional communities. For the numerous regional and more remote communities local government is often the only institutional presence and one of the key drivers of economic activity. The key benefits of the local government sector, as outlined by the Australian Government 1, include that the sector s: wide and established national network of public administration, including a significant presence in rural and regional Australia strong links to the community and that it is accountable to the communities it represents practical service orientation and good organisational skills, which make it capable of innovative, speedy and flexible responses deep links with local business and industry, which put councils in a good position to foster a bottom up approach to regional development ability to provide information to support Commonwealth regional policy development and implementation, and function as an ideal entry point for access to information about other governments services and programs. Increase in local government service scope Over the past thirty years, the functions undertaken by local government in Australia have evolved with a generally expanded scope. Council services now generally include a range of social and human services in addition to the physical infrastructure of roads and waste, with some jurisdictions also providing water and waste water. Most local councils, due to community pressure, state and Australian Government inducements and the withdrawal of services by other levels of government, now provide a growing range of social and human services. Some smaller councils, due to constrained budgets have, by necessity, needed to contain their scope to the traditional services. The Intergovernmental Agreement on Cost Shifting, coupled with greater caution by councils prior to expanding services, may moderate recent levels of service expansion. 1 DOTARS, Submission No. 103., p. 39., in House of Representatives, SCEFPA, 2003, Rates and Taxes: A Fair Share for Responsible Local Government, p. 91 Executive Summary 4

8 This diversity in size and subsequent income streams has meant that councils have differing capacities to fund the requests by their communities for greater services. Managing these demands is particularly challenging for many councils that have a narrow revenue base or a revenue base that has seen only modest growth. Particularly for the 60% of councils that are rural and remote councils, of which many have experienced static or declining population bases, this translates to stable or declining council revenue. This is an ongoing challenge in the context of strong economic growth, which typically sees communities demanding a corresponding increase in local infrastructure and services. Consequently, individual councils have had mixed success in managing and funding community demands for more services whilst retaining a healthy financial position. Efficiency improvements Over the past decade there has been growing awareness and progress across the sector about the need to improve the efficiency and sustainability of local government. As such a large body of work has been undertaken over recent years, driven by state associations in addition to state and Australian Governments that analyses the sector and compiles evidence that a large number of councils are facing financial difficulties. This is part of an ongoing process of ensuring that there is a robust understanding of sustainability issues at the state and federal level. As a consequence, over the past decade a number of councils have implemented a range of successful reforms to improve their efficiency and sustainability. Significant efficiency reforms have been achieved through the following approaches: outsourcing non-core operations, which was formalised in Victoria by the compulsory competitive tending (CCT) policy during the 1990s structural reforms that have included mandatory and voluntary amalgamations in New South Wales (NSW), Queensland, Victoria, South Australia (SA) and Tasmania to consolidate the local government sector commercialisation of services in order to increase the returns to local government, for example, the recent Local Government Infrastructure Services initiative in Queensland (see section 2.6 for further details) regional service delivery is a widespread practice among councils to deliver a range of services such as waste services, purchasing and procurement, road and infrastructure maintenance, and recruitment, and shared services where either a council or the state association becomes the lead provider for service provision, particularly for corporate services such as finance, and HR. State based sustainability studies The results of recently completed sustainability studies commissioned and funded by state local government associations in NSW, SA and Western Australia (WA) provided some of the impetus for this study. Each of these studies was managed by an independent board, with the analysis undertaken by Access Economics (Access). SA was the first state to complete such a study, with the results published in August This was followed by NSW (May 2006) and then the WA report in August Executive Summary 5

9 The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) has also led the efficiency reform process undertaking considerable work on analysing the trends and long-term sustainability of local government finances in Victoria. The MAV has developed a viability index to measure the long-term viability of individual councils. It combines factors such as borrowings, unfunded superannuation liabilities (USL) and the cumulative deficit/surplus in capital expenditure versus depreciation. The MAV index analyses data since and compares this debt (both financial and any underspend on renewals) against rate revenues. Based on data MAV concluded that 10% of the 79 councils in Victoria are unsustainable. In collating the results of the MAV study and the three separate Access studies it appears that around 35% of councils across these states are not financially sustainable. Access found that the proportion of unsustainable councils varies between 25% in NSW and 58% in WA. However, in observing these results it is important to note that the Access approach excluded capital grants from the operating results, which paints a more urgent picture of the sustainability of local government. In this PwC study, capital grants are viewed as an ongoing and important revenue source, the exclusion of which can overstate the extent of sustainability difficulties of local government. Overall, this PwC Study is seeking to provide a strategic-level national assessment of the degree to which financial sustainability is a significant concern and, if so, to recommend options to assist councils in need. Assessment of current and long-term viability of local government and the differences between types of councils The recent state based sustainability studies have confirmed widespread concerns from a number of commentators that a sizable proportion of councils face long-term financial sustainability problems. Where councils report operating deficits or, more specifically, operating cashflow deficits, there is a strong tendency to defer or scale back renewals expenditure to upgrade existing infrastructure. This deferral of renewals, particularly in community infrastructure (eg community centres, swimming pools, libraries), has been a key factor in creating a backlog of renewals work. This tendency by some councils to defer community infrastructure renewals arises because the other two broad categories of infrastructure (being water/sewerage and roads) have specific user charges to fund renewals or Australian Government grants (eg Roads to Recovery or R2R) to support periodic upgrading. Even with R2R a sizable proportion of rural councils still have ongoing challenges funding the adequate renewal of their local roads. Our ability to accurately assess the financial viability and sustainability of different types of councils across Australia has been constrained by a range of data limitations, including: mixed approaches to measuring and recording financial data associated with inconsistencies between states, the infrequent asset re-valuations (typically 5 yearly) as well as differences in assumed asset lives impacting the accuracy of reported depreciation levels, and Executive Summary 6

10 incomplete financial and asset management records particularly for smaller councils, including a large proportion of Northern Territory councils. A key data shortcoming across a large proportion of councils across the nation is accurate information on capital expenditure and renewals expenditure and inconsistent separation of maintenance, renewals and capital expenditure. PwC has subsequently utilised two approaches to assess viability, namely: i. Financial ratio analysis using a survey of 100 councils: PwC has obtained data from state/territory grants commissions which was then stratified to match both the proportion of councils per state/territory and the proportion of councils in each of seven Australian Classification of Local Governments (ACLG) size categories established by the Department of Regional Transport and Services (DOTARS). ii. Extrapolation from state based sustainability results: from the three Access based inquiries (NSW, SA and WA) and MAV study in Victoria, PwC has extrapolated to provide an indicative estimate of the national sustainability gap and infrastructure backlog. The Access approach used a more sophisticated method to defining financial sustainability based on forward looking renewals and own-source revenue capacity. Similarly, MAV was able to obtain a better breakdown of capital expenditure directly from councils so as to estimate the likely infrastructure backlog and has examined the trends in Victorian financial viability over the medium term. Extrapolation is required as this PwC Study has a strategic or national focus and the scope does not encompass detailed individual council analysis as utilised by the state based studies to evaluate sustainability. Executive Summary 7

11 Financial ratio analysis Table E.1 provides a summary of a survey of the financial viability of 100 councils within the seven ACLG size categories developed by DOTARS. A full explanation and definition of these financial key performance indicators (KPI) can be found in Appendix B. Table E.1: Summary of financial KPIs by ACLG Financial Sustainability Summary KPIs DOTARS category % Councils with Interest Coverage <3 (EBIT/borrowing costs) Median Operating Surplus as a % of Total Revenue % Councils with Deficit greater than 10% of Total Revenue Median Sustainability Ratio (capex/ depreciation) % Councils with Sustainability Ratio <1 Median current ratio (current assets/current liab.) % of councils with current ratio <1 Median rates coverage (%) (rates as a % of total expenses) % of councils with rates coverage <0.4 Urban capital city Urban regional Urban fringe Urban development Rural remote Rural agricultural Rural significant growth n/a -8.0 n/a 2.4 n/a 2.4 n/a 47.5 n/a Average The results above indicate that: Approximately 36% of councils have an interest coverage ratio (EBIT/interest) of less than 3. The interest coverage level of 3 generally represents a threshold where credit risk begins to be more significant and a large unexpected event with adverse cash flow implications can potentially place pressure on ability to meet interest payments. Councils have a median operating surplus of 10% of total revenue. However this is an unadjusted operating surplus in that it includes revenues which are committed to specific purposes (eg Section 94 developer contributions). Some 16% of councils also have an operating deficit of over 10% of revenue. Such councils have a tendency to defer renewals expenditure which creates a risk of developing maintenance backlogs. Executive Summary 8

12 The median sustainability ratio (capex/depreciation) in this sample was 1.8:1. Some 8% of councils have a sustainability ratio of less than 1. The proportion less than 1 is understated as council asset values are often conservative with infrequent updates and many assets still in active use have reached their accounting life and are fully depreciated. Hence in reality, if asset values and depreciation amounts were more accurate, the national median sustainability ratio is likely to be closer to 1:1. A ratio of less than 1 indicates that the capital being consumed in an accounting sense exceeds the capital being replaced into the asset base. Councils have a median current ratio (current assets/current liabilities) of 2.6, however 21% are less than 1. The ratio of 1 is a key threshold for testing liquidity issues. In particular the urban fringe, urban development, rural remote and rural agricultural categories all have potential liquidity problems with % less than 1. Councils across the nation have a median of 48% of costs covered by rates, ranging from 25% to 66%. Of concern is the fact that 87% and 54% of rural remote and rural agricultural councils respectively have rates covering less than 40% of costs creating a dependence on government grants. Extrapolation from state based sustainability results The Access Economics and MAV results for NSW, WA, SA and Victoria are summarised in Table E.2. Both approaches use four main KPIs: Backlog in infrastructure renewals Underspend on existing infrastructure renewals per annum The estimated funding gap per annum to rectify the underspend and clear the backlog, and The percentage of councils assessed as unsustainable. We understand that both the Access and MAV approaches to estimating the annual underspend on existing infrastructure renewals has taken into account existing Australian Government support to clear backlogs, primarily in the form of the R2R Program. However, the Access results exclude other capital grants, based on the premise that their inclusion would overstate the revenue available for operational activities. The PwC analysis is different in that data constraints have meant that all capital grants are included. This approach also recognises that all capital grants form an important and necessary part of local government revenue, and hence PwC reports a slightly improved sustainability in comparison to the Access results. It is important to note that the MAV estimates are for the period from to due to concerns about the accuracy of the data recorded for non-current assets under the different accounting standards that applied prior to this period. Combined, the NSW, Victoria, SA and WA represent around 63% of total national councils, 76% of the national population and 72% of the nation s local roads. This provides an adequate sample to assess the sustainability position across the nation. Executive Summary 9

13 However, the results between states vary; for example the average NSW council underspend is $3.3 million per annum compared with $0.3 million in SA. The more favourable sustainability results for SA appear to be mainly explainable by substantial parts of rural and remote SA (approximately 85% of SA land area) being unincorporated, or not subject to local council governance. Accordingly, the extent of council backlogs and underspend varies widely between NSW, WA, SA and Victoria. The extrapolation results also need to be interpreted with some caution as the 259 councils which are yet to be analysed across Queensland, Tasmania and the NT are likely to have substantial variation. This is due to differing asset bases and income levels, factors such as whether (or not) water/sewer services are provided, and that this sub-set contains proportionally more Indigenous councils (which generally have relatively less extensive asset bases). Further analysis of the specific renewals backlogs in Queensland, Tasmania and the NT appears to have merit and would reduce the need for extrapolation. Nevertheless, the results to date potentially provide sufficient data to extrapolate a range for the likely national position in term of backlogs, underspends and gaps. To develop this range we have applied three cases: Low case: where we apply the average of WA, Victoria and SA average result per council to 259 councils in Tasmania and the NT. Mid case: where we apply the WA, Victoria, SA and NSW average result per council to 259 councils in Tasmania and the NT. Under this approach, an indicative estimate of the potential aggregate backlog for all 700 Australian local councils across the country is approximately $14.5 billion with an annual renewal underspend of $1.1 billion creating a funding gap 2 to clear the backlog and correct the underspend of $2.16 billion. Based on the results for NSW, WA, SA and Victoria, the jurisdiction analysis results also suggest that approximately 35% of councils are currently unsustainable. High case: where we apply the NSW, Victoria and WA average result per council to 259 councils in Tasmania and the NT. In assessing the types of councils which are more viable, whilst there will always be numerous exceptions, the councils with stronger financial positions are generally those with reasonable scale in operations and population (more often, larger urban or regional councils). Such councils typically have stronger rates income and economic bases with more sophisticated asset management and financial governance systems. The less financially viable councils tend to be smaller (often rural, remote or small metropolitan), usually with constrained own-source revenue streams and a lack of economies of scale compounded by weaknesses in financial and asset management capabilities. However, there is also a proportion of larger councils with viability problems arising due to a range of factors. These include: significant expansion into new services a suppression of rates rises to improve voter appeal, and 2 In summary, the Access Economics methodology measures the annual infrastructure funding gap as the difference between the required annual spend on renewals as indicated by annual depreciation expense and the amount actually spent. Executive Summary 10

14 some elements of ineffective cost management whereby the level of expenditure controls and budgeting processes to manage cost growth may not have been adequate. Table E.2: Infrastructure backlog estimate, extrapolated from Access Economics and MAV results Access Economics & MAV Financial Sustainability Summary Results Backlog in infrastructure renewals ($m) Underspend on existing infrastructure renewals per annum ($m) Est. funding gap per annum ($m) (to cover backlog & annual underspend) to be generated via savings or extra revenue/grants Est. funding gap per council per annum ($m) % of councils unsustainable NSW (152 LGBs - Access) $6,300 $500 $900 $5.9 25% SA (68 LGBs - Access) $300 /1 $20 $40 $0.6 38% WA (142 LGBs - Access) $1,750 $110 $220 $1.5 58% Vic (79 LGBs - MAV) $806 /2 $81 $203 $2.6 10% Total NSW/WA/SA/Vic (441 LBGs: 63% of LGBs, 76% population & 73% of local road km) $9,156 $711 $1,362 $3.1 35% Low Case National Estimate (700 LGBs) (apply WA, Vic and SA average result per council to 259 councils in Qld, Tas & NT) $12,012 $922 $1,826 $2.6 Mid Case National Estimate (700 LGBs) (apply WA, Vic, SA and NSW average result per council to 259 councils in Qld, Tas & NT) $14,533 $1,129 $2,163 $3.1 35% High Case National Estimate (700 LGBs) (apply NSW, WA, Vic average result per council to other 259 councils in Qld, Tas & NT) $15,305 $1,190 $2,281 $3.3 Notes: 1. Access estimate for SA based only the backlog developed over last 10 years and full backlog will be higher. 2. MAV estimate of infrastructure backlog is in dollars, for the period between , hence is understated. The estimated funding gap to clear both the backlog and to cover the annual underspend on renewals is $3.1 million per council per annum or $2.16 billion nationally. The pie charts below compare the actual local government revenue base with the revenue base required for financial sustainability. Executive Summary 11

15 2004/05 local govt revenue, $21.4 billion & sources Required revenue pa $23.56 billion & sources including the funding gap (mid case gap: $2.16 billion pa), Other 21% Funding gap 9% Taxation Taxation revenue revenue (rates) (rates) Other 35% 38% 19% Sales of Sales of goods Current grants goods and Current and services and subsidies services grants and 28% 9% 31% subsidies 10% For financial sustainability this 9% funding gap must be covered over the medium term. This appears best likely to be achieved through a combination of initiatives including further increases in efficiency, higher user charges and rates, as well as further grants support from other spheres of government. Synthesising the findings of the state based reports and the PwC Analysis The results of the Access and MAV state based sustainability studies and the PwC analysis both confirm that a significant part of the local government sector has financial sustainability problems. The PwC estimate that approximately 10% to 30% of Australia s councils have sustainability issues broadly reflects the results of the state based reports that between 25% and 40% of councils, in the states analysed, could be unsustainable. Common findings across these studies are that councils with sustainability issues are likely to be developing infrastructure backlogs due to service expansions, moderate operating cost growth, minimal revenue growth giving rise to persistent underlying operating deficits and constraints on renewal expenditure. Hence, such councils have a funding gap between current and required revenue to enable them to clear the backlog and lift renewals expenditure to the optimal level. Further broad conclusions can be drawn from the PwC analysis, when the survey results are segmented into the seven DOTARS council categories: The majority of larger metropolitan councils are generally viable or have the ability to self-effect an improvement in financial sustainability. Some metropolitan council s have become over stretched generally due to service expansions. Further use of community consultations and use of flexible user pays systems may assist in effective prioritisation of local government services and infrastructure. Executive Summary 12

16 Urban fringe councils are mixed as some have large viability issues with some scope for internal improvements, while others are in a strong position with only minor scope for internal reform. Hence, only some of these councils appear to be dependent on additional government funding to restore sustainability. Rural remote and rural agricultural councils generally have more pronounced viability problems. These councils typically have relatively larger scope for internal reforms, however they often battle against lack of scale, and extra funding for renewal of existing community infrastructure is required for most. While significant progress has been made by local government to increase their financial management effectiveness and understand the need for robust asset management plans (AMP), this analysis suggests internal reforms alone will not resolve sustainability issues for a large part of the local government sector. Hence, such councils may need to either reduce existing services/assets, or to seek additional revenue. As council own-revenue options are limited, this lends significant merit to consider reforms to intergovernmental transfers. Key financial issues impacting financial sustainability The common characteristics of councils typically facing financial sustainability constraints often include: minimal (or negative) revenue growth cost growth which has typically exceeded revenue growth. Expenditures have been rising by an average of CPI +2-3% per annum. This cost growth is mainly due a combination of factors including a rising skill level required for most senior roles requiring higher remuneration, award wage rises of typically 4% per annum for most mid to lower level roles, stronger cost escalations in the maintenance and construction sectors as well as service diversification. The divergence between cost and revenue growth can lead to operating deficits which in turn are often partly funded by deferring some infrastructure renewals expenditure increasing involvement in non-core service provision due to escalating community demands, coupled with a related tendency by some councils to step-in to provide a non-traditional service a tendency by some councils to run operating deficits creating a need to defer or underspend on renewal of infrastructure, particularly community infrastructure which is often repeated annually creating a backlog limited access for some councils to strong financial and asset management skills which are critical to identifying sustainability problems, optimising renewals expenditure and improving revenue streams, and a small proportion of councils also have limited access to rate revenue due to relatively small annual rate increases and a low initial rating base. Executive Summary 13

17 The sample of 100 councils together with the state based sustainability results indicate that local government needs to generate more cash flow to adequately maintain and renew infrastructure particularly community infrastructure. The recent sustainability inquiries have significantly improved the understanding of the local government sector of the sustainability problem. Councils have, and are, undertaking substantial ongoing efficiency reform programs to improve financial viability. However, for many councils (more often rural, remote and urban fringe), despite making sizable improvements in efficiency, there will be a need to either reduce services or downsize their asset base unless additional revenue can be secured. In assessing how to increase own-source revenues, the councils with sustainability issues often have limited options, which mean that a rise in intergovernmental transfers appears the most appropriate solution. Some council s are also experiencing financial challenges due to significant population growth (eg sea and tree change areas) as infrastructure is augmented to meet demand. However, over the longer term, once the transitionary impacts moderate, a larger scale population, coupled with a modern asset base and sound asset management practices, should improve the prospects for such councils to be financially sustainable. What could be achieved through improved funding of local government? Improved funding for local councils, particularly for the renewal of community assets, would assist local communities by enabling councils to return important community infrastructure to acceptable levels of condition. In conjunction with improved financial and asset management practices, more appropriate funding levels for local government infrastructure and related services would help to ease the pressure of operating deficits. In addition, such extra funding would support the clearance of backlogs in renewals expenditure (identified by Access and the MAV) and then also support more regular periodic maintenance to retain service levels. Importantly, additional funding would assist local government to take full advantage of their ability to flexibly gauge and respond to the changing demands at a community level. With increasing demands for a broader scope and higher standard of community services and infrastructure, it is important that local government has the resources to ascertain the priorities of the community, and to subsequently inform and consult with the community on the trade-offs of council provided infrastructure and services. Enabling a council to respond directly to the service and infrastructure demands of an informed community would: Strengthen local communities by ensuring an adequate standard of facilities for the ongoing provision of a range of significant social and recreational services. Provide for greater choice and consultation on council provided services and infrastructure, and encourage more participation in community activities raising levels of inclusion and wellbeing. This would promote increased community cohesion and safety, particularly in rural areas. Executive Summary 14

18 Enable the implementation of local programs that recognise the diverse needs of communities and support cultural diversity, access and equity, equal opportunity, involving minority groups. Support sustainable environmental strategies for each community to improve local environmental outcomes. Enhance business and community links with regional areas to promote regional equity and development. Promote further economic development and the generation of employment benefits through links with the business community. Improve the quality of life of local residents through the support and alignment of health and welfare agencies within the area, and Support local recreation, arts and culture and an appreciation of heritage in order to promote vibrant and active communities. Recommendations PwC has developed recommendations based on a twin track approach for improving financial sustainability through the pursuit of: i. Internal reforms by some councils to improve their efficiency and effectiveness. ii. Suggested changes to intergovernment funding for improved financial sustainability to primarily assist the types of councils with sustainability challenges). Internal reforms required by some councils Local government is a key sphere of government in its own right and it has management structures to competently deliver on its core accountabilities. A sizable proportion of councils, including the vast majority of the larger councils, have made significant progress in reforming operations to improve efficiency and many of these councils now only need to focus on continued improvement through productivity gains, which all entities should pursue. While the sustainability report undertaken in SA indicated that sustainability is more linked to policy and skills rather than size, evidence from other states indicates that scale, and implicitly size, does assist in improving sustainability. It is likely that this divergence in results is largely due to the majority of SA being an unincorporated zone, which would minimise the incidence of rural councils that cover large areas with a small population base and limited opportunities for economies of scale. Overall, some council s still have scope to further improve their efficiency and effectiveness mainly by improving their scale, financial management and asset management. Executive Summary 15

19 Recommendations to improve council internal performance practices are targeted at the four key objectives, outlined below. In making these recommendations it is acknowledged that due to the extensive divergence between councils, the applicability of each recommendation will vary between each council. Moreover, the sustainability work led by state based local government associations has led to the implementation of a number of focussed programs, with progress underway to address the key themes of these recommendations. Improving efficiency, effectiveness and scale Further realise the gains from greater economies of scale and reduce unit costs via approaches such as regional or shared service provision, outsourcing, use of statewide purchasing agreements etc. Expanding own-source revenue Work with state government to remove or relax legislative impediments and improve the capacity of local government to raise revenue from its own sources. Set clear and appropriate priorities Establish a robust long-term service plan which defines what council will provide and how services will be undertaken. Exercise caution prior to stepping in to attempt to resolve regional, state or national issues without a sound funding plan. Secure long-term funding (not just capital grants) prior to new services and infrastructure. Deepen asset management and financial capacity Work with other spheres of government to facilitate improved asset management and financial skills through government-funding programs (eg the Size, Shape and Sustainability Review in Queensland and the MAV Step Program), to lift the skills in all councils to a reasonable base level. Use total asset management plans and systems to better manage asset renewals and replacement, and integrate into broader long-term council objectives. Undertake more regular asset condition reporting for key infrastructure. Develop nationally consistent local government financial and asset management data. There is a need for a new national program to improve the consistency and quality of council data to enable more robust and accurate analysis and planning and to produce a uniform national approach to measuring viability and financial sustainability. Ideally this would be supported by the Australian Government. Executive Summary 16

20 Suggested reforms to inter-government transfers PwC sees significant merit in some reforms to intergovernment transfers, but these need to be targeted to primarily assist the types of councils with sustainability challenges. The specific suggested reforms to intergovernment transfers are: Establish a new Local Community Infrastructure Renewals Fund (LCIRF): this fund would support councils in the more timely funding of renewals work across a range of community infrastructure assets including community centres, aged care facilities, libraries, health clinics, sport and recreation facilities. The fund could be distributed based on relative need use the R2R or FAGs distribution methods, or perhaps through a new or hybrid approach. The size of LCIRF could be set so as to provide a similar level of renewals support as provided by R2R, which is around $ million per annum. Revise the escalation methodology for FAGS from a mix of population growth and CPI, to a new escalation formula tailored more to local government cost movements (eg a combination of the ABS Wage Cost Index and Construction Cost Index coupled with population growth). Make funding for the Roads to Recovery Program permanent: this program has delivered substantial benefits and there would be significant merit in extending its duration and further augmenting funding levels (including escalating the program size by the ABS Construction Cost Index). State governments to provide funding support to encourage the local council efficiency and asset management reforms: a significant proportion of councils have inadequate in-house skills to improve efficiency and to establish robust asset management and financial plans. There would be significant benefit in state governments providing partial funding to aid the development of tailored state-based reform programs. This program might be along the lines of the support provided by the Queensland Government ($25 million over five years) in the Size, Shape and Sustainability Program, and the Step Program developed by MAV. Executive Summary 17

21 1 Introduction 1.1 Background Over the past thirty years the role and functions undertaken by most councils in Australia have continued to evolve and expand. The changing structure of Australian governance has seen the scope of council services diversify from the provision of physical infrastructure, such as roads and waste, to greater involvement in advocacy, social and human services. This diversification has generally been met by a relatively narrow revenue base, often with limited opportunities for increases in funding or own-source revenue. Some smaller councils, due to funding constraints, have primarily retained the traditional services. With over 700 individual local governing bodies, the local government sector is extremely diversified. Hence, the ability of individual councils to adapt to the changing financial and political environment has been mixed. Inevitably, for every conclusion drawn about particular types of councils there are always a number of exceptions. Local government refers to councils established under state legislation as well as declared bodies, which are provided with Commonwealth financial assistance grants and are treated as councils for the purposes of grant allocations. Declared bodies do not have the same legislative requirements as councils, and include Outback Areas Community Development Trust in SA, the Roads Trust in NT, and certain Indigenous community councils and outback communities such as Tibooburra and Lord Howe Island. References to council throughout this report also include declared bodies. The financial position of councils varies from larger population councils in metropolitan/regional areas with typically strong rate income and economic bases and more sophisticated asset management and financial governance systems, to rural/remote councils with typically small populations and extremely restricted own-source revenue streams compounded by problems associated with declining populations and skills shortages. Long-term financial sustainability is a growing concern for many council s, not limited to the rural/remote councils, that are facing constraints to their managerial capacity and financial resourcing. Evidence from SA suggests that differences in council size and location play a relatively minor role in explaining the incidence of operating deficits and substantial infrastructure renewal/replacement backlogs, with this result being influence by substantial parts of SA being unincorporated (not serviced by local councils). By contrast, MAV analysis suggests that rural councils are more likely to have ongoing operating deficits and infrastructure backlogs whilst outer metropolitan councils are more likely to have operating deficits Common characteristics of councils typically facing financial sustainability constraints often include: generally minimal or negative revenue growth. A small proportion of councils also have limited access to rate revenue due to relatively small annual rate increases and a low initial rating base Introduction 18

22 cost growth which has typically exceeded revenue growth. Expenditures have been rising by an average of CPI +2-3% per annum. This cost growth is mainly due a combination of factors including a rising skill level required for most senior roles requiring higher remuneration, award wage rises of typically 4% per annum for most mid to lower level roles, stronger cost escalations in the maintenance and construction sectors as well as service diversification. The divergence between cost and revenue growth can lead to operating deficits which in turn are often partly funded by deferring some renewals expenditure limited access for some councils to strong financial and asset management skills which are critical to identifying sustainability problems, optimising renewals expenditure and improving revenue streams increasing involvement in non-core service provision due to escalating community demands, coupled with a related tendency by some councils to step-in to provide a non-traditional service, and a tendency by some councils to run operating deficits with a growing inability to meet all costs with available income leading some councils to: defer or underspend on renewal of infrastructure, particularly community infrastructure which is often repeated annually creating a backlog operating deficits increase use of overdraft debt, or extending the days until creditors are paid. There is growing awareness of the financial difficulties facing a significant proportion of councils through the numerous local government inquiries and studies that have been completed in recent years. However, further work is required in developing tangible options to reform both funding and local government practices in order to improve the long-term financial sustainability of the sector. Introduction 19

23 1.2 Objectives and scope of this study The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to undertake an independent analysis of the financial sustainability of councils in Australia. The full terms of reference and scope are provided in Appendix A. The intention of this project is to provide a high level strategic national study that draws on the detailed analysis in a number of state based sustainability studies, in order to provide an indication of the sustainability of the nationwide local government sector. The resources available to complete this study preclude an in-depth and individual analysis to be undertaken of each of the 700 councils. The extensive diversity of the sector also makes it difficult to provide a detailed how to guide for improving sustainability that would apply to the varying circumstances of each council. Thus, this study assesses key characteristics that contribute to councils becoming at risk of sustainability problems, and develops a range of internal and funding reform options that target these issues and attempt to improve the long-term sustainability of the sector as a whole. The objective of this study is to assist ALGA, in collaboration with state and territory local government associations, to develop a detailed plan to: enable councils to better meet their fiscal obligations as well as the growing demands for infrastructure and services, and provide a sound rationale and model for appropriate and targeted support to local government for consideration by other spheres of government. This is to be achieved through the completion of the following terms of reference: assess the current and long-term viability of the local government sector at the national, state and local level identify the key financial issues affecting the financial sustainability of local government at each level identify the trends and/or differences between groups of councils based on specified characteristics using the DOTARS council categories develop recommendations for improved financial sustainability of local government including financial governance and potential sources of additional revenue, and investigate the appropriateness of reform to intergovernmental financial transfers with a view to developing a new model for intergovernmental financial relations that will facilitate financial sustainability of local government. Introduction 20

24 1.3 Our approach In undertaking this study PwC worked with ALGA and state and territory local government associations to determine the key constraints faced by councils and to identify potential reform options to improve financial sustainability. This study benefited from the growing body of work that has been undertaken in relation to the financial sustainability of local government in a number of jurisdictions across Australia. This includes both the sustainability reports commissioned by a number of state local government associations as well as reviews undertaken by the Australian Government. Hence, an extensive literature review of previous relevant reports was completed in order to ensure this study takes into account all previous findings and research approaches. The following reports were critical inputs to this study, with other useful sources listed in the bibliography: Financial Sustainability Review Board 2005, Rising to the Challenge: Towards Financially Sustainable Local Government in South Australia Independent Inquiry into the Financial Sustainability of NSW Local Government 2006, Are Council s Sustainable? Systemic Sustainability Study June 2006: Access Economics, Local Government Finances in Western Australia House of Representatives, Standing Committee on Economics, Finance and Public Administration (SCEFPA) 2003, Rates and Taxes: A Fair Share for Responsible Local Government: Final Report Department of Transport and Regional Services 2006, Local Government National Report: Report on the Operation of the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act A widespread stakeholder consultation process was conducted in order to supplement the information and data available in the public domain. The local government association, department of local government and local government grants commissions in the majority of states and territories were consulted. These consultations provided an important insight into the specific issues and constraints faced within each jurisdiction. The stakeholder consultation process was instrumental in collating data and relevant information on the local governments sector in each jurisdiction. PwC then reviewed the available information and data in order to assess the financial sustainability of the seven upper level categories of the Australian Classification of Local Governments (ACLG). Our ability to accurately assess the financial viability and sustainability of different types of councils across Australia has been constrained by a range of data limitations, including: mixed approaches to measuring and recording financial data associated with inconsistencies between states Introduction 21

1 Fiscal strategy and outlook

1 Fiscal strategy and outlook 1 Fiscal strategy and outlook Features The 2015-16 Budget delivers the Government s election commitments, with key measures to revitalise the State economy and frontline service delivery, especially in

More information

Session 1 Asset Management and Financial Planning

Session 1 Asset Management and Financial Planning Session 1 Asset Management and Financial Planning Based on Australian Infrastructure Financial Management Guidelines John Howard, IPWEA NAMS.AU Project Manager Jeff Roorda & Associates AASHTO Workshops

More information

Payroll Tax in the Costing of Government Services

Payroll Tax in the Costing of Government Services Payroll Tax in the Costing of Government Services Research Paper Steering Committee for the Review of Commonwealth/State Service Provision Commonwealth of Australia 1999 ISBN: 1 74037 006 6 This paper

More information

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS): Funding the Unfunded Commitment

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS): Funding the Unfunded Commitment National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS): Funding the Unfunded Commitment prepared for the Insurance Council of Australia April 2012 NDIS is currently a $6.5 billion per annum unfunded commitment this

More information

Long Term Financial Planning

Long Term Financial Planning Long Term Financial Planning Framework and Guidelines Long Term Financial Planning Framework and Guidelines for Western Australian Local Governments p1. Contents Foreword 4 1. Introduction 7 2. Purpose

More information

Economic benefits of closing the gap in Indigenous employment outcomes. Reconciliation Australia

Economic benefits of closing the gap in Indigenous employment outcomes. Reconciliation Australia Economic benefits of closing the gap in Indigenous employment outcomes Reconciliation Australia January 2014 Contents Acronyms... i Glossary... ii Executive Summary... i 1 Introduction... 1 1.1 Methodology...

More information

Information Paper 9. Local Government Financial Indicators

Information Paper 9. Local Government Financial Indicators Information Paper 9 Local Government Financial Indicators November, 2006 Introduction Formal financial statements contain a wealth of information. Unfortunately their detail and format often mean it is

More information

Framework for Long Term Financial and Asset Management Planning for all Tasmanian Councils

Framework for Long Term Financial and Asset Management Planning for all Tasmanian Councils TASMANIAN STATE GOVERNMENT and LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION OF TASMANIA Framework for Long Term Financial and Asset Management Planning for all Tasmanian Councils FINAL REPORT September 2009 Document Control

More information

Rate Setting, Asset Management and Financial Sustainability. A guide for local governments June 2013

Rate Setting, Asset Management and Financial Sustainability. A guide for local governments June 2013 Rate Setting, Asset Management and Financial Sustainability A guide for local governments June 2013 1 Rate Setting, Asset Management and Financial Sustainability A guide for local governments June 2013

More information

National Assessment Frameworks For Local Government Asset Management and Financial Planning Implementation Proposal Paper

National Assessment Frameworks For Local Government Asset Management and Financial Planning Implementation Proposal Paper For Local Government Asset Management and Financial Planning Prepared by Chris Champion and Leon Patterson, Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia June 2012 Contents Executive Summary... 1 Introduction...

More information

HORNSBY SHIRE COUNCIL LONG TERM FINANCIAL PLAN 2014/15-2023/24 HORNSBY SHIRE COUNCIL LONG TERM FINANCIAL PLAN 2014/15-2023/24 SECTION INTRODUCTION

HORNSBY SHIRE COUNCIL LONG TERM FINANCIAL PLAN 2014/15-2023/24 HORNSBY SHIRE COUNCIL LONG TERM FINANCIAL PLAN 2014/15-2023/24 SECTION INTRODUCTION HORNSBY SHIRE COUNCIL LONG TERM FINANCIAL PLAN 2014/15-2023/24 HORNSBY SHIRE COUNCIL LONG TERM FINANCIAL PLAN 2014/15-2023/24 SECTION INTRODUCTION P1 P2 CONTENTS Executive Summary Financial Results Future

More information

Administrator National Health Funding Pool Annual Report 2012-13

Administrator National Health Funding Pool Annual Report 2012-13 Administrator National Health Funding Pool Annual Report 2012-13 Design Voodoo Creative Printing Paragon Printers Australasia Paper-based publications Commonwealth of Australia 2013 This work is copyright.

More information

August 2014. Industry Report: SolarBusinessServices. Solar Businesses in Australia. Prepared for: Rec Agents Association

August 2014. Industry Report: SolarBusinessServices. Solar Businesses in Australia. Prepared for: Rec Agents Association August 2014 Prepared by: Industry Report: SolarBusinessServices Prepared for: Solar Businesses in Australia Rec Agents Association P a g e 1 RAA Industry Report Solar Businesses in Australia Final 2014

More information

Electricity network services. Long-term trends in prices and costs

Electricity network services. Long-term trends in prices and costs Electricity network services Long-term trends in prices and costs Contents Executive summary 3 Background 4 Trends in network prices and service 6 Trends in underlying network costs 11 Executive summary

More information

WATER AND SEWERAGE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT PLANNING

WATER AND SEWERAGE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT PLANNING WATER AND SEWERAGE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT PLANNING ABSTRACT Chris Adam, Cardno MBK (Qld) Pty Ltd In recent years, the utilities industries have been subject to far greater commercial scrutiny than ever before.

More information

Financial Management (Sustainability) Guideline 2013 Version 1.1

Financial Management (Sustainability) Guideline 2013 Version 1.1 Financial Management (Sustainability) Guideline 2013 Version 1.1 For the purposes of explaining the concept of sustainability and to provide guidance for calculating the relevant financial sustainability

More information

AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC LIBRARIES STATISTICAL REPORT 2011-2012

AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC LIBRARIES STATISTICAL REPORT 2011-2012 AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC LIBRARIES STATISTICAL REPORT 2011-2012 Compiled by Regional Access and Public Libraries, State Library of Queensland July 2013 Foreword The National Library and the State and Territory

More information

Long-Term Asset Management Plan 2011-2021

Long-Term Asset Management Plan 2011-2021 Long-Term Asset Management Plan 2011-2021 Contents Introduction...3 A shared vision...4 Strategic planning to achieve our goals...4 Towards 2031...5 A long-term vision, communicated by our community...5

More information

Budget priorities: cut company tax, invest in infrastructure and balance budget within five years.

Budget priorities: cut company tax, invest in infrastructure and balance budget within five years. Ai Group Survey Business Priorities for the 2014-15 Federal Budget Budget priorities: cut company tax, invest in infrastructure and balance budget within five years. 4 May 2014 The top three priorities

More information

Overview - State Tax Review Discussion Paper

Overview - State Tax Review Discussion Paper Overview - State Tax Review Discussion Paper FEBRUARY 2015 WWW.YOURSAY.SA.GOV.AU Why Are We Reviewing Our State Tax System? South Australia is already a great place to live and we value that as a community.

More information

Summary Report. Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. Industry and Small Business Policy Division

Summary Report. Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. Industry and Small Business Policy Division Summary Report Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Industry and Small Business Policy Division Small Business Dispute Resolution June 2010 DIISR Small Business Dispute Resolution Research

More information

2. The costs of natural disasters

2. The costs of natural disasters 2. The costs of natural disasters Key Points Without action, the forecast annual cost in real terms of natural disasters (across government, business and communities) in Australia is expected to reach

More information

Pricing, Cost Structures, and Profitability in the Australian Vegetable Industry

Pricing, Cost Structures, and Profitability in the Australian Vegetable Industry Pricing, Cost Structures, and Profitability in the Australian Vegetable Industry This paper examines some key financial aspects of the Australian vegetable industry as it relates to pricing and costs of

More information

The Economic Contribution of Copyright-Based Industries in Australia

The Economic Contribution of Copyright-Based Industries in Australia The Economic Contribution of Copyright-Based Industries in Australia 3 Prepared for the Australian Copyright Council by Price Waterhouse Coopers Contents Key findings 3 Introduction 7 1 Value added by

More information

21 August 2015 ACSA CONTACTS

21 August 2015 ACSA CONTACTS ACSA response to Exposure Draft Legislation Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No. #) Bill 2015: Limiting fringe benefit tax concessions on salary packaged entertainment benefits 21 August

More information

LONG TERM FINANCIAL PLAN 2011/2012 2020/2021

LONG TERM FINANCIAL PLAN 2011/2012 2020/2021 LONG TERM FINANCIAL PLAN 2011/2012 2020/2021 INDEX TO CONTENTS 1. Long Term Financial Planning Defined 1.1 Purpose 1.2 Principles 1.3 CEO Statement on Financial Sustainability 2. Impacts upon the Current

More information

AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC LIBRARIES STATISTICAL REPORT 2010-2011. Final Report

AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC LIBRARIES STATISTICAL REPORT 2010-2011. Final Report AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC LIBRARIES STATISTICAL REPORT 2010-2011 Final Report Compiled by Public & Indigenous Library Services State Library of Queensland July 2012 Foreword The National Library and the State

More information

Part B3: Business case funding and financing options

Part B3: Business case funding and financing options Overview Part A: Strategic assessment Part B1: Business case developing the business case Part B2: Business case procurement options Part B3: Business case funding and financing options Part C: Project

More information

State of the Assets. Roads and Community Infrastructure Report

State of the Assets. Roads and Community Infrastructure Report N at ion a l State of the Assets A report prepa red by Jeff Roorda a nd Associ ates for the Austr a li a n Loca l Gov ernment Associ ation November 2015 Roads and Community Infrastructure Report 2015 2

More information

Council of Ambulance Authorities

Council of Ambulance Authorities Council of Ambulance Authorities Patient Satisfaction Survey 2013 Prepared for: Mojca Bizjak-Mikic Manager, Data & Research The Council of Ambulance Authorities Prepared by: Natasha Kapulski Research Associate

More information

Housing Affordability Report

Housing Affordability Report Housing Affordability Report JUNE QUARTER Stable market but no reprieve for first home Housing affordability remained relatively steady in the June quarter of with the proportion of income required to

More information

Long Term Financial Plan 2014/15 2023/24

Long Term Financial Plan 2014/15 2023/24 Long Term Financial Plan 2014/15 2023/24 May 2014 1 Index Executive Summary... 3 Background... 5 What is Financial Sustainability?... 6 Key Financial Issues and Challenges... 8 Responding to the Challenges...

More information

Financial Strategy 2016 2026

Financial Strategy 2016 2026 Financial Strategy 2016 2026 Table of Contents 1. Executive Summary and Overview... 4 1.1 Executive Summary... 4 1.1.1 The Financial Strategy and Long-Term Financial Forecast... 4 1.1.2 The Financial Strategy

More information

2014 Residential Electricity Price Trends

2014 Residential Electricity Price Trends FINAL REPORT 2014 Residential Electricity Price Trends To COAG Energy Council 5 December 2014 Reference: EPR0040 2014 Residential Price Trends Inquiries Australian Energy Market Commission PO Box A2449

More information

COMMUNITY FINANCIAL REPORT

COMMUNITY FINANCIAL REPORT COMMUNITY FINANCIAL REPORT Council s approach to financial planning guides the organisation toward operating in a manner that ensures financial sustainability in both the short, and the long term. IMAGE:

More information

Review of Asset Management

Review of Asset Management Review of Asset Management By Dr Penny Burns, AMQ International INTRODUCTION The Roads to Recovery grants have been well received by councils but there is no certainty that they will be renewed at the

More information

Optus Submission to Productivity Commission Inquiry into National Frameworks for Workers Compensation and Occupational Health and Safety

Optus Submission to Productivity Commission Inquiry into National Frameworks for Workers Compensation and Occupational Health and Safety Optus Submission to Productivity Commission Inquiry into National Frameworks for Workers Compensation and Occupational Health and Safety June 2003 Overview Optus welcomes the opportunity to provide this

More information

Uniform Financial Ratios and Norms

Uniform Financial Ratios and Norms N A T I O N A L T R E A S U R Y MFMA Circular No. 71 Municipal Finance Management Act No. 56 of 2003 Uniform Financial Ratios and s The purpose of this Circular is to provide a set of uniform key financial

More information

Project Evaluation Guidelines

Project Evaluation Guidelines Project Evaluation Guidelines Queensland Treasury February 1997 For further information, please contact: Budget Division Queensland Treasury Executive Building 100 George Street Brisbane Qld 4000 or telephone

More information

LONG TERM FINANCIAL PLAN (INTERIM) 2012/13 to 2022/23

LONG TERM FINANCIAL PLAN (INTERIM) 2012/13 to 2022/23 LONG TERM FINANCIAL PLAN (INTERIM) 2012/13 to 2022/23 INTRODUCTION Long term financial planning is a key element of the Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework. It is the mechanism that enables local

More information

Feedback on the Inquiry into Serious Injury. Presented to the Road Safety Committee of the Parliament of Victoria. 08 May 2013

Feedback on the Inquiry into Serious Injury. Presented to the Road Safety Committee of the Parliament of Victoria. 08 May 2013 Feedback on the Inquiry into Serious Injury Presented to the Road Safety Committee of the Parliament of Victoria 08 May 2013 About the APA The Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) is the peak body

More information

6 Intergovernmental financial relations

6 Intergovernmental financial relations 6 Intergovernmental financial relations Features The Queensland Government is committed to working with the Australian Government to achieve outcomes for Queenslanders. The fiscal constraints facing all

More information

Health expenditure Australia 2011 12: analysis by sector

Health expenditure Australia 2011 12: analysis by sector Health expenditure Australia 2011 12: analysis by sector HEALTH AND WELFARE EXPENDITURE SERIES No. 51 HEALTH AND WELFARE EXPENDITURE SERIES Number 51 Health expenditure Australia 2011 12: analysis by sector

More information

Contact us. Hoa Bui T: + 61 (02) 9335 8938 E: hbui@kpmg.com.au. Briallen Cummings T: + 61 (02) 9335 7940 E: bcummings01@kpmg.com.au. www.kpmg.com.

Contact us. Hoa Bui T: + 61 (02) 9335 8938 E: hbui@kpmg.com.au. Briallen Cummings T: + 61 (02) 9335 7940 E: bcummings01@kpmg.com.au. www.kpmg.com. Contact us Hoa Bui T: + 61 (02) 9335 8938 E: hbui@kpmg.com.au Briallen Cummings T: + 61 (02) 9335 7940 E: bcummings01@kpmg.com.au www.kpmg.com.au No reliance This report should not be regarded as suitable

More information

ASSOCIATIONS SALARY SURVEY 2015

ASSOCIATIONS SALARY SURVEY 2015 ASSOCIATIONS SALARY SURVEY 2015 ASSOCIATIONS SALARY SURVEY 2015 Table of Contents Welcome 01 Part 1 Overview 02 1.1 Introduction 03 1.2 Aims of Salary Survey 03 1.3 Method 03 1.4 Survey Respondents 03

More information

Service Delivery and Performance Commission Page 9

Service Delivery and Performance Commission Page 9 Service Delivery and Performance Commission Page 9 2 Industry Overview 2.1 Introduction This chapter provides an overview of the Australian Automotive Industry, including market characteristics and an

More information

Review of PIRSA s Cost Recovery Policy and practices, including their application to the Fisheries and Aquaculture Industries Primary Industries and

Review of PIRSA s Cost Recovery Policy and practices, including their application to the Fisheries and Aquaculture Industries Primary Industries and Review of PIRSA s Cost Recovery Policy and practices, including their application to the Fisheries and Aquaculture Industries Primary Industries and Regions SA 29 July 2015 Contents Executive Summary...

More information

SUBMISSION TO AUSTRALIAN TAXATION REVIEW COMMITTEE. Better Tax - Wagering Reform Proposal. Nationals Senator, Bridget McKenzie

SUBMISSION TO AUSTRALIAN TAXATION REVIEW COMMITTEE. Better Tax - Wagering Reform Proposal. Nationals Senator, Bridget McKenzie SUBMISSION TO AUSTRALIAN TAXATION REVIEW COMMITTEE Better Tax - Wagering Reform Proposal Nationals Senator, Bridget McKenzie 1. GENERAL SUBMISSION The Better Tax Discussion Paper invites submissions on

More information

Barriers to Affordable & Accessible Student Accommodation

Barriers to Affordable & Accessible Student Accommodation Barriers to Affordable & Accessible Student Accommodation June 2015 STAFF RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS REPORT WERE: Director Associate Director Senior Consultant Job Code Clinton Ostwald Mark Dawson Ryan Mackenzie

More information

Alternative infrastructure funding and financing

Alternative infrastructure funding and financing Alternative infrastructure funding and financing Research Paper (commissioned by the Queensland Government) 21 March 2016 Department Of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning This page intentionally

More information

Local Government National Report

Local Government National Report 2005 06 06 Local Government National Report 2005 06 Report on the Operation of the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995 Commonwealth of Australia 2007 ISSN 1441 5739 ISBN 0 9756884 3 X Information

More information

CORPORATE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT GUIDELINE

CORPORATE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT GUIDELINE -001 CORPORATE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT GUIDELINE -001 TABLE OF CONTENTS 1 Introduction... 3 1.1 Scope... 3 1.2 Purpose... 3 2 Performance Management Framework Overview... 4 3 Performance Management Framework...

More information

Long Term Financial Plan 2014 2023 Adopted December 2013

Long Term Financial Plan 2014 2023 Adopted December 2013 Long Term Financial Plan 2014 2023 Adopted December 2013 District Council of Mallala CONTENTS 1 Introduction 1 2 Planning Framework 2 3 Assumptions 7 4 Summary & Financial Statements 10 Estimated Comprehensive

More information

NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT ON EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT ON EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT ON EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION Council of Australian Governments An agreement between the Commonwealth of Australia and the States and Territories, being: the State of New

More information

Home loan affordability report

Home loan affordability report Home loan affordability report Joint Quarterly Survey No. 89. ember Quarter Low affordability challenges Gen X, Y Home loan affordability has taken another beating as the proportion of family income required

More information

The Financial Position of Australian Unlisted Businesses

The Financial Position of Australian Unlisted Businesses The Financial Position of Australian Unlisted Businesses Tom Bilston and Melissa Watson* Using a variety of information sources, the financial position of unlisted firms in recent years is examined and

More information

Key themes from Treasury s Business Liaison Program

Key themes from Treasury s Business Liaison Program Key themes from Treasury s Business Liaison Program 73 Introduction As part of Treasury s Business Liaison Program, staff met with around 25 businesses and a number of industry and government organisations

More information

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers / Practitioners in focus

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers / Practitioners in focus Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers / Practitioners in focus i Contents Introduction... 1 What is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker?... 2 How are Aboriginal and Torres

More information

WorkCover claims. Report 18: 2014 15

WorkCover claims. Report 18: 2014 15 Report 18: 2014 15 Queensland Audit Office Location Level 14, 53 Albert Street, Brisbane Qld 4000 PO Box 15396, City East Qld 4002 Telephone (07) 3149 6000 Email Online qao@qao.qld.gov.au www.qao.qld.gov.au

More information

Housing Affordability Report

Housing Affordability Report Housing Affordability Report MARCH QUARTER Housing affordability improves on the back of falling interest rates as loan sizes rise and incomes stall The first quarter of showed an improvement in housing

More information

1. a) How effective is the current Climate Change Act 2010 in driving climate change action by:

1. a) How effective is the current Climate Change Act 2010 in driving climate change action by: Public Submission Review of Climate Change Act 2010 City of Melbourne Questions 1. a) How effective is the current Climate Change Act 2010 in driving climate change action by: Government? (tick one only)

More information

MODULE 4 WINDING UP A BUSINESS

MODULE 4 WINDING UP A BUSINESS MODULE 4 WINDING UP A BUSINESS PART OF A MODULAR TRAINING RESOURCE Commonwealth of Australia 2015. With the exception of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms and where otherwise noted all material presented in

More information

Australia & New Zealand. Return to Work Monitor 2011/12. Heads of Workers Compensation Authorities

Australia & New Zealand. Return to Work Monitor 2011/12. Heads of Workers Compensation Authorities Australia & New Zealand Return to Work Monitor 2011/12 Prepared for Heads of Workers Compensation Authorities July 2012 SUITE 3, 101-103 QUEENS PDE PO BOX 441, CLIFTON HILL, VICTORIA 3068 PHONE +613 9482

More information

Australian Housing Outlook 2014-2017. By Robert Mellor, Managing Director BIS Shrapnel Pty Ltd October 2014

Australian Housing Outlook 2014-2017. By Robert Mellor, Managing Director BIS Shrapnel Pty Ltd October 2014 Australian Housing Outlook 2014-2017 By Robert Mellor, Managing Director BIS Shrapnel Pty Ltd October 2014 Recent Residential Property Market Trends Residential property demand has varied across purchaser

More information

INTEGRATED PLANNING AND REPORTING

INTEGRATED PLANNING AND REPORTING Government of Western Australia Department of Local Government INTEGRATED PLANNING AND REPORTING Framework and Guidelines Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework and Guidelines p1. Contents Foreword

More information

Business Advisory Forum. Review of Carbon Reduction and Energy Efficiency Measures Taskforce report prepared for COAG

Business Advisory Forum. Review of Carbon Reduction and Energy Efficiency Measures Taskforce report prepared for COAG Business Advisory Forum Review of Carbon Reduction and Energy Efficiency Measures Taskforce report prepared for COAG March 2013 Table of Contents 1. INTRODUCTION... 3 1.1 COAG requests and the Business

More information

Council of Ambulance Authorities

Council of Ambulance Authorities Council of Ambulance Authorities National Patient Satisfaction Survey 2015 Prepared for: Mojca Bizjak-Mikic Manager, Data & Research The Council of Ambulance Authorities Prepared by: Dr Svetlana Bogomolova

More information

UNIFORM FINANCIAL INFORMATION SOUTH AUSTRALIA 2000-2001

UNIFORM FINANCIAL INFORMATION SOUTH AUSTRALIA 2000-2001 UNIFORM FINANCIAL INFORMATION SOUTH AUSTRALIA 2000-2001 Presented by the Honourable Rob Lucas MLC Treasurer of South Australia on the Occasion of the Budget for 2000-2001 UNIFORM STATISTICAL PRESENTATION

More information

Local Government and Planning Ministers Council

Local Government and Planning Ministers Council Attachment A Local Government and Planning Ministers Council First National Report on Development Assessment Performance 2008/09 Prepared by the South Australian Government Attachment A Table of Contents

More information

COMMINSURE HOME INSURANCE PREMIUM, EXCESS AND DISCOUNT GUIDE.

COMMINSURE HOME INSURANCE PREMIUM, EXCESS AND DISCOUNT GUIDE. COMMINSURE HOME INSURANCE PREMIUM, EXCESS AND DISCOUNT GUIDE. This document provides you with information to help you understand how your total premium has been calculated, discounts that are available

More information

AUSTRALIAN HOTELS MORE THAN JUST A DRINK AND A FLUTTER:

AUSTRALIAN HOTELS MORE THAN JUST A DRINK AND A FLUTTER: AUSTRALIAN HOTELS MORE THAN JUST A DRINK AND A FLUTTER: AN OVERVIEW OF THE AUSTRALIAN HOTELS INDUSTRY APRIL 2009 AUSTRALIAN HOTELS T h e A u s t r a l i a n h o t e l s i n d u s t r y The Australian hotels

More information

APRIL 2014 ELECTRICITY PRICES AND NETWORK COSTS

APRIL 2014 ELECTRICITY PRICES AND NETWORK COSTS APRIL 2014 ELECTRICITY PRICES AND NETWORK COSTS 1 WHAT MAKES UP THE RETAIL ELECTRICITY BILL? Retail electricity bills are made up of a number of components: Wholesale costs reflecting electricity generation

More information

NATIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR RURAL AND REMOTE EDUCATION

NATIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR RURAL AND REMOTE EDUCATION NATIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR RURAL AND REMOTE EDUCATION DEVELOPED BY THE MCEETYA TASK FORCE ON RURAL AND REMOTE EDUCATION, TRAINING, EMPLOYMENT AND CHILDREN S SERVICES 1 CONTENTS Introduction... 3 Purpose...

More information

SOL PLAATJE LOCAL MUNICIPALITY

SOL PLAATJE LOCAL MUNICIPALITY SOL PLAATJE LOCAL MUNICIPALITY LONG TERM FINANCIAL PLANNING POLICY 1 P a g e TABLE OF CONTENTS TABLE OF CONTENTS... A 1. INTRODUCTION...1 2. PURPOSE OF THIS DOCUMENT...1 3. DEFINITIONS... 2 4. OBJECTIVES...

More information

NSW Business Chamber Submission to the Special Commission of Inquiry into Electricity Transactions

NSW Business Chamber Submission to the Special Commission of Inquiry into Electricity Transactions 29 June 2011 Special Commission of Inquiry Electricity PO Box A1150 SYDNEY SOUTH 1235 1. The NSW Business Chamber welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the NSW Government s Special Commission

More information

NATIONAL WORKERS COMPENSATION AND OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY FRAMEWORKS

NATIONAL WORKERS COMPENSATION AND OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY FRAMEWORKS NATIONAL WORKERS COMPENSATION AND OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY FRAMEWORKS SUBMISSION TO THE PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION FROM THE BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA 1 INTRODUCTION SUBMISSION The BCA makes the

More information

Insurance Insights. When markets hit motorists. How international financial markets impact Compulsory Third Party insurance

Insurance Insights. When markets hit motorists. How international financial markets impact Compulsory Third Party insurance Insurance Insights When markets hit motorists How international financial markets impact Compulsory Third Party insurance August 2012 Chris McHugh Executive General Manager Statutory Portfolio Commercial

More information

TEC Capital Asset Management Standard January 2011

TEC Capital Asset Management Standard January 2011 TEC Capital Asset Management Standard January 2011 TEC Capital Asset Management Standard Tertiary Education Commission January 2011 0 Table of contents Introduction 2 Capital Asset Management 3 Defining

More information

Retail Operating Costs A REPORT PREPARED FOR THE ECONOMIC REGULATION AUTHORITY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA. March 2012

Retail Operating Costs A REPORT PREPARED FOR THE ECONOMIC REGULATION AUTHORITY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA. March 2012 Retail Operating Costs A REPORT PREPARED FOR THE ECONOMIC REGULATION AUTHORITY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA March 2012 Frontier Economics Pty. Ltd., Australia. i Frontier Economics March 2012 Public Retail Operating

More information

Assistance in the private sector. 11 Rent assistance in the private market...28. 12 Home ownership assistance...31

Assistance in the private sector. 11 Rent assistance in the private market...28. 12 Home ownership assistance...31 Assistance in the private sector 11 Rent assistance in the private market...28 12 Home ownership assistance...31 27 11. Rent assistance in the private market Rent assistance to tenants in the private rental

More information

Comcare, the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, and the Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority

Comcare, the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, and the Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority Comcare, the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, and the Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority Agency Resources and Planned Performance COMCARE, THE SAFETY, REHABILITATION

More information

A RESPONSE TO SHAPING OUR FUTURE A DISCUSSION STARTER FOR THE NEXT NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING 2004-2010

A RESPONSE TO SHAPING OUR FUTURE A DISCUSSION STARTER FOR THE NEXT NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING 2004-2010 A RESPONSE TO SHAPING OUR FUTURE A DISCUSSION STARTER FOR THE NEXT NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING 2004-2010 March 2003 1 This response to Australian National Training Authority

More information

Appendix B5: 2014-15 Budget Outcome and Summary of Variations

Appendix B5: 2014-15 Budget Outcome and Summary of Variations Appendix B5: 2014-15 Budget Outcome and Summary of Variations Budget outcome for 2014-15 The Budget result for 2014-15 is estimated to be a surplus of $2.1 billion compared with a budgeted deficit of $283

More information

Project LINK Meeting New York, 20-22 October 2010. Country Report: Australia

Project LINK Meeting New York, 20-22 October 2010. Country Report: Australia Project LINK Meeting New York, - October 1 Country Report: Australia Prepared by Peter Brain: National Institute of Economic and Industry Research, and Duncan Ironmonger: Department of Economics, University

More information

Statistical appendix. A.1 Introduction

Statistical appendix. A.1 Introduction A Statistical appendix A.1 Introduction This appendix contains contextual information to assist the interpretation of the performance indicators presented in the Report. The following four key factors

More information

An update on the level and distribution of retirement savings

An update on the level and distribution of retirement savings ASFA Research and Resource Centre An update on the level and distribution of retirement savings Ross Clare Director of Research March 2014 The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia Limited (ASFA)

More information

2017 19 TasNetworks Regulatory Proposal Expenditure Forecasting Methodology

2017 19 TasNetworks Regulatory Proposal Expenditure Forecasting Methodology 2017 19 TasNetworks Regulatory Proposal Expenditure Forecasting Methodology Version Number 1 26 June 2015 Tasmanian Networks Pty Ltd (ACN 167 357 299) Table of contents 1 Introduction... 1 2 Meeting our

More information

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: Private Veterinarians engaged in an Emergency Animal Disease Response

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: Private Veterinarians engaged in an Emergency Animal Disease Response FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: Private Veterinarians engaged in an Emergency Animal Disease Response 1. Why was the Private Practitioner engagement working group established? The Department of Agriculture

More information

Housing Affordability Report

Housing Affordability Report Housing Affordability Report Joint ly Survey No. 94. ch Interest rate increases bite hard The title of the Deposit Power/Real Estate Institute of Australia Home Loan Affordability Report has been changed

More information

OCCASIONAL PAPERS ON PUBLIC MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING FOR WHAT?: THE VALUE OF ACCRUAL ACCOUNTING TO THE PUBLIC SECTOR

OCCASIONAL PAPERS ON PUBLIC MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING FOR WHAT?: THE VALUE OF ACCRUAL ACCOUNTING TO THE PUBLIC SECTOR GENERAL DISTRIBUTION OCDE/GD(93)178 OCCASIONAL PAPERS ON PUBLIC MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING FOR WHAT?: THE VALUE OF ACCRUAL ACCOUNTING TO THE PUBLIC SECTOR ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT

More information

Aberdeen City Council

Aberdeen City Council Aberdeen City Council Internal Audit Report Final Contract management arrangements within Social Care & Wellbeing 2013/2014 for Aberdeen City Council January 2014 Internal Audit KPI Targets Target Dates

More information

4 Adoption of Asset Management Policy and Strategy

4 Adoption of Asset Management Policy and Strategy 4 Adoption of Asset Management Policy and Strategy Abstract The report recommends the adoption of an updated Asset Management Policy 2014 and an Asset Management Strategy 2014-2019. Both documents are

More information

Housing Australia factsheet

Housing Australia factsheet www.shelter.org.au Housing Australia factsheet A quick guide to housing facts and figures Homelessness There were estimated to be 15,237 people experiencing homelessness on Census night in 211. Page 2

More information

Business Planning for Major Capital Works and Recurrent Services in Local Government

Business Planning for Major Capital Works and Recurrent Services in Local Government Business Planning for Major Capital Works Business Planning for Major Capital Works September 2011 Victorian Auditor-General s Report Telephone 61 3 8601 7000 Facsimile 61 3 8601 7010 www.audit.vic.gov.au

More information

Management Research Series No 1/2003. Key findings. Management Development Practice in Australia

Management Research Series No 1/2003. Key findings. Management Development Practice in Australia Management Research Series No 1/2003 Key findings Management Development Practice in Australia A national study commissioned by the Australian Institute of Management 2002 About this series The Management

More information

FULL COST PRICING A QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE FOR ELECTED OFFICIALS AND STAFF

FULL COST PRICING A QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE FOR ELECTED OFFICIALS AND STAFF FULL COST PRICING A QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE FOR ELECTED OFFICIALS AND STAFF This booklet is a quick reference guide to help you to: understand what full cost pricing is understand the importance of full

More information

Teacher Performance and Development in Australia

Teacher Performance and Development in Australia AITSL is funded by the Australian Government Teacher Performance and Development in Australia A mapping and analysis of current practice March 2012 Graham Marshall, Peter Cole and Vic Zbar Contents Background...

More information

Australian ehealth Market

Australian ehealth Market Synopsis Australian ehealth Market Synopsis Australian ehealth Market Australian ehealth Market: Synopsis CHIK Services (CHIK) presented the results of its independent research into the Australian Health

More information

Shire of Three Springs Long Term Financial Plan 2012-2022 (Adopted)

Shire of Three Springs Long Term Financial Plan 2012-2022 (Adopted) Shire of Three Springs Long Term Financial Plan 2012-2022 (Adopted) Preface Reliance The professional advice and opinion in this report has been prepared for the exclusive use of the Shire of Three Springs

More information

3 Year Financial Plan

3 Year Financial Plan 3 Year Financial Plan 2012-2015 Contents Executive Summary 3 Recommendation 4 1. Balanced budget 5 2. Overview of process and methodology 5 3. Transition strategy 6 4. Statement of Financial Position

More information