04
Jul 16

Local government financial sustainability – more to do?

It’s been a decade since formal inquiries were conducted assessing the financial sustainability of local government sectors in all Australian states. Since then much has changed. There have been legislative reforms, guidelines and training aimed at improving financial performance. Councils rightly now focus much more on the longer-term than they once did. Local governments have … Continue reading Local government financial sustainability – more to do?

21
Jun 16

Are you up to the Shared Services Centre challenge?

Amalgamation is an extreme form of shared services where every activity of a group of councils is centralised in a new administrative body reporting to a single new council. There is no compelling evidence that centralising all local council activities in a single mega-council produces cost efficiencies. That’s because with scale, some activities obtain economies … Continue reading Are you up to the Shared Services Centre challenge?

05
May 16

Do mergers make for better councils? The evidence is against ‘bigger is better’ for local government

Brian Dollery, University of New England Hard-pressed ratepayers in New South Wales and Queensland need no reminding of the perils of municipal amalgamation. NSW experienced a sharp dose of forced mergers in 2004. Queenslanders underwent draconian council consolidation under the Beattie government in 2008. NSW is now on the cusp of a further round of … Continue reading Do mergers make for better councils? The evidence is against ‘bigger is better’ for local government

07
Apr 16

Improving Asset Management Practices

Do you often hear esoteric words thrown around about financial sustainability, asset backlog, SRV, special schedule 7, asset re-evaluation, depreciation methodology and arguments like “it was the engineers”, “it was the accountants” and “we don’t have a system that does this”? This alien language was thrust upon me when I arrived at Rockdale City Council … Continue reading Improving Asset Management Practices

14
Mar 16

Strategic Services Partnerships – The ‘Link’ Between Financial Sustainability and Service Delivery

Australian councils are now beginning to embrace the benefits of creating Strategic Service Partnerships which focus on long-term outputs rather than short-term inputs.  As leaders, we are all too aware of the headwinds which are buffeting Local Government. The constant demand to do more with less needs to be balanced with creating pathways to ensure … Continue reading Strategic Services Partnerships – The ‘Link’ Between Financial Sustainability and Service Delivery