LG regulations revised to bolster council finances

WA’s Local Government (Financial Management) Regulations have been amended to give councils quicker access to funding during the Covid-19 crisis.

The changes will, among other things, allow councils to re-purpose borrowed money, increase the local government tendering threshold to $250,000 to align with state government thresholds, and exempt the sector from the need to give local public notice of a “power to borrow”.

Click here for full details of the amendments.

Elsewhere, NSW local government regulations have been changed to allow councils to provide financial relief to ratepayers and businesses.

Under the amendments, councils will be allowed to delay sending out the first quarterly rates notice for 2021, to extend the payment deadline by one month, and to immediately waive or reduce fees such as food premise inspections for coronavirus-impacted businesses without having to provide 28 days’ public notice.

Councils have also been given a one-month extension to adopt their 2020-21 operational plans and budgets and submit their 2019-20 audited financial statements and annual reports.

In related news, the Queensland Government has enacted amendments to state planning legislation in response to recent concerns raised by councils and other stakeholders.

The Northern Territory government has also made planning rule changes for the Covid-19 pandemic.