Report calls for LG industry reforms

An independent report has assessed the City of Gosnells as currently being in a sound financial position compared to other Perth Local Governments. Based on a review of 26 Perth metropolitan Councils, the study found that Gosnells is one of Western Australia’s better managed Local Governments and that the City’s ratepayers are getting good value for money.

Conducted for Council by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the report – Future Proofing the City of Gosnells – rates the City in the top quartile of viable Local Governments in Western Australia and suggests Gosnells could currently receive a AA credit rating. It also highlights that population growth of up to 40,000 over the next 20 years will require prudent financial management and additional funding to maintain sustainable levels of community services and infrastructure provision.

Gosnells Mayor, Patricia Morris, said the study will help the City when it seeks crucial increases in infrastructure funding.

“We will continue to explore all possible funding sources to ensure the ongoing financial sustainability of the City, including cost effective service delivery,” she said. “It is important we weigh up, with the community, how best to meet these challenges.”

The study also calls for performance benchmarking in the Western Australian Local Government industry. Council has suggested a refinement to the way Financial Assessment Grants are allocated by the Western Australian Government, so that a minor portion can be used to reward improvements in Local Government performance, as measured through the proposed new benchmarking process.

“The City of Gosnells has, for many years, believed that independent benchmarking is important for the health of the industry,” Mayor Morris said. “We would urge the State Government to act quickly. We believe that under a proper benchmarking system, good performance of individual Local Governments should be rewarded through the allocation of appropriate funding.”

City of Gosnells Chief Executive Officer, Stuart Jardine, said the study was wide ranging and would make a valuable contribution to the current industry wide debate on structural reform and financial sustainability.

To view the full PWC report visit www.gosnells.wa.gov.au/scripts/viewurllist.asp?NID=12557