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Swan Reach Forum – Friday 24 February 2006


Swan Reach Forum – Friday 24 February 2006

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									Swan Reach Forum – Friday 24 February 2006

Definition Feedback

      •   The whole definition is underpinned by Councils being able to necessitate
          significant increases in rates. Regional Councils have been hammered by this.
          This reference could be seen as dangerous.

      •   The private sector is starting to have a greater influence on Council.

      •   There are normal economic and financial influences in the definition – these
          factors should have an impact on policy setting.

      •   The definition should not contain the word shocks.

      •   The definition should be kept simple, at the moment the definition is way to
          wordy. This will be difficult to communicate this into the local community.

      •   The definition does require rewording.

      •   Substantial has different meanings to different people. What does this mean?

      •   Local Government is dependent on Commonwealth and State Government
          grants, if these were removed we would be vulnerable.

      •   Local government needs to recognise a shift in population. At the moment
          regional Council’s are witnessing declining/ageing populations, hence this will
          have a huge impact on Council services.

      •   What costs are we required to depreciate?

      •   Local Government is given grants to build new infrastructure, but no grants are
          given to maintain the ongoing costs of this new infrastructure.

      •   Funding policies – funding priorities and cost of infrastructure should be added
          should be added.

      •   Would a person on the street understand this definition?

      •   The definition is ok, but we should find other words to explain this.

      •   How would the definition help Local Government to be financially sustainable?

      •   Present spending should change to include the future as well.

      •   Substantial isn’t acceptable, perhaps another word should be used.

      •    Can Councils become more sustainable without raising rates? Are there other
           ways of raising Local government funds?

      •    Will there be rate capping? – if a Council has been deemed
           unsustainable/sustainable will this reduce levels of Commonwealth funding?

Workshop Session

Priority List

      1.   Financial Sustainability and Financial Governance
      2.   Assets and Depreciation
      3.   Revenue and financing policies – role of debt, long term plans, etc.
      4.   New approach to standards
      5.   Role of regional LGA’s

  •       The smaller Councils are going to struggle to meet deadlines. Help should be given
          to these Councils to assist and achieve minimum standards and guidelines.

  •       An ongoing issue is we will need to keep all of these documents up to date.

  •       We should be encouraging groups of Councils to work together, sharing staff and
          resources. This should be facilitated through groups of Councils or through
          regional LGAs.

  •       Councils should look closely at long-term, sustainable plans.

  •       The role of the regional LGA should be to provide regional forums and education.

  •       What are the costs of this project likely to be – both financial and human?

  •       What is the cost-benefit analysis of going through this project?

  •       What are the time factors – especially for under-resourced Councils?

  •       There should be cost-sharing for regional support.

  •       The role of the regional LGAs is a key avenue for explanation.


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