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Broad categories

Withdrawn or reduced services by state government with the gap filled by councils

Home and Community Care, childcare and aged care services, valuations, safety and crime prevention, housing

Transferred assets

State regional roads, federal regional airports

Concessions and rebates created without compensation for councils

Pensioner rebate schemes, non-ratable federal/state land

Increased regulatory and compliance requirements

Food regulation, companion animals, threatened species, fire brigade contributions

Failure to provide indexation of fees and charges

Swimming pool inspections, licensing, statutory planning fees, environmental protection fees

Specific examples


State regional roads and federal regional airports have been transferred to local government. In the case of regional airports, initial funding was provided - but this has often proved to be inadequate - one council estimating the cost to be $300,000 a year in annual depreciation and a $1m upgrade. One rural council says it spends 20% of its rate income on maintaining its airport.

Home and Community

Care Federal and state government funding for HACC services has failed to keep pace with the service costs and increases in demand. One metropolitan council estimated the cost of inadequate funding for HACC services provided by the council to be more than $500,000 a year.


State governments have increasing reduced funding to libraries. One council said its funding had been reduced by $350,000 over three years. Another estimated the impact at $1m a year.


Source: Rates and Taxes: A fair share for responsible local government