By Adam Coleman
Local Government in Queensland has responded to a review from the Queensland Treasury Corporation (QTC) that suggests the majority of Queensland’s councils do not have sufficient long term asset management plans and are over-reliant on rates as a source of revenue.
According to the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ), the QTC report into the financial sustainability of local government has demonstrated that the amalgamation of councils had little to do with their long-term financial sustainability.
According to Tony Goode, LGAQ spokesman “The LGAQ has always said that amalgamating a financially weak council with another financially weak council will not automatically make that council financially viable,” Mr Goode said.
“The QTC report demonstrates this very point. The key findings and recommendations clearly indicate that poor financial performance is impacted more by a council’s policy choice, governance and management oversight than its size or structure.” he said
The LGAQ also hit back at criticism in the report of the decision by many councils to approve “large and ad-hoc rate increases” as a means of bettering their financial position.
“As part of their budgeting processes, many councils recently made the decision to increase rates above CPI, but unfortunately, the state government felt it necessary to criticise their actions,” Mr Goode said.
“We are pleased to read in QTC’s report that it has recommended that councils should increase their net rates, utility and charges based on appropriate industry price movements, such as those revealed in the LGAQ’s Council Cost Index, and not just the CPI,” Mr Goode said.
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