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Local Government hears rating concerns

10 August 2004

SA Council's peak body will next week hold a special meeting to review concerns over Local Government resources and Council rates.

Local Government Association President, Cr John Legoe, today announced the special meeting of the LGA Executive Committee had been called to take action over ongoing service demands, resource constraints and the impact of valuations on Council rates.

Cr Legoe said that Councils had been challenged over the past three years by uneven valuation growth from the property boom causing hardship for some and many Councils now believed they had exhausted "just about every legal option available" to assist ratepayers.

Cr Legoe said the special meeting would consider:

  • Further flexibility needed in the Local Government Act;
  • How to deal with costs escalating faster than CPI;
  • Problems with annual property valuations;
  • Continued increases in service and quality demands against Councils limited options for revenue raising;
  • The fairness to SA of Federal Funding for Local Government; and
  • An agreement on funding with State Government.

Councillor Legoe said he would be keen to take on board any proposals to improve the current system which would not disadvantage communities or restrict economic growth.

"We want to hear all constructive suggestions," he said.

"I want everything on the table and I want Councils to find and recommend the solution because it is Councils which are held accountable for these issues in the community.." "It's our responsibility."

"Our goal is to ensure the continued development of the services the community needs and expects and to do that we must deal with the resourcing question that is fair and affordable to all."

"I continue to hear from "asset rich, income poor" people in the community and with a rapidly ageing community such examples are only going to increase - and this is just one challenge we will need to face if we are going to find a long-term solution.

I intend to issue a further statement following the special executive meeting on Thursday 19 August.

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