Financial sustainability a key issue facing local government

Published: 23rd April 2021

This week’s wrap comes to you, in part, from Gayndah where North Burnett Regional Council Mayor Rachel Chambers and her council held one of six town hall meetings to discuss the dire financial situation facing the council.

Mayor Chambers and her council’s Between a Rock and a Hard Place campaign goes right to the heart of ongoing advocacy by LGAQ to address financial sustainability issues facing local government.

Mayor Chambers hits the nail on the head in her media release where she states: “Our back is against the wall. We’re running out of money, we’re running out of options to save jobs, and we’re running out of time.  Our community deserves better. We’re hard-working Queenslanders living only four hours from Brisbane, and we’re fed up with begging for services other communities take for granted.”

Communities in rural and remote and first nations councils should not be deprived of essential services just because they have a small rate base.

The challenging budget environment facing many Queensland councils was also featured in the latest Queensland Audit Office report on local government financial audits – tabled in Parliament this week.

You can find our media response to this report here.

Restoring Financial Assistance Grants to at least one per cent of Federal tax revenue is top of our list in our federal budget submission this year.

It will also be at the fore in the next federal election campaign.

We’ve also put in critical funding requests on your behalf ahead of the State Government budget in June.

Finally, last week the local government media agenda was dominated by the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions to withdraw the charges against a group of former Logan councillors.

The LGAQ will continue our push for an independent inquiry into the Triple C’s handling of the matter.

This push has become even more critical following the decision of the majority of the members of the Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Committee – the parliamentary oversight committee – to reject a motion for it to look into the CCC’s actions in the now failed case.

The LGAQ wrote to every Queensland MP this week outlining our case in light of the PCCC’s decision. We also drew their attention to the communique issued by the LGAQ Policy Executive last week, calling for an inquiry.

We have said from the start that it was an industrial matter; we want an inquiry because we need to ensure this does not occur to another council and another community.