New SGS research about local government sustainability

SGS Economics and Planning partner Marcus Spiller launched new research about local government financial sustainability in Australia at the 2024 NGA on 3 July.

The report analyses long-term trends in financial sustainability of Australia’s 537 councils, and was prepared to support ALGA’s submission to the inquiry into local government sustainability.

Some of the key findings include:

  • Local governments could boost Australia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by up to $7 billion per year if councils were sustainably funded by the Federal Government.
  • A $1 billion dollar investment in local government road maintenance will deliver a $3.5 billion increase in real GDP.
  • $250 million invested in better supply and curation of parks and gardens will result in a $900 million GDP boost.
  • Efficient design of regulatory processes within councils can yield an annual benefit of $1.6 million. If realized across Australia’s 537 councils, this would increase GDP
    by $1.7 billion.
  • Increased block transfers of funds from Commonwealth and states to local government can save $235.64 million in administrative costs and increase GDP by
    $300 million each year.
  • Increase retention of local government workers can save up to $424.5 million in administration costs and boost GDP by $600 million each year.

Download the full report here.