Local councils in Queensland have received a new guide to help mayors and councillors better understand their responsibilities in managing billions of dollars in community assets.
Released by Local Government Minister Desley Boyle on Thursday, the Guide to Asset Accounting in Local Governments provides information on assets and depreciation, with links and resources to assist councils in measuring the residual value of community assets and their depreciation.
Ms Boyle said the new guide was “essential reading” for mayors and councillors.
“Under the asset management policy for local government, councils’ long-term financial forecasts need to be underpinned by robust estimates produced from asset management plans,” she said.
“Community assets have to be well-managed for their entire lifespan and their full cost, including depreciation, needs to be accounted for.
“This guide will assist Mayors and Councillors avoid any confusion of the broad range of terminology and concepts associated with asset management, asset accounting and financial management.”
Councils have until the end of the year to develop their long-term asset management plans.
Ms Boyle said there were a range of issues councils needed to consider, including setting the expected levels of service for council services; agreeing on acceptable levels of risk and cost for the expected levels of service, approving a council’s asset management policy, strategy and asset management plans; ensuring funding decisions are based on long-term asset management plans; and evaluating asset management performance, to ensure that the council’s assets provide the services as expected.