SA Councils - for the walks parks and barks
Are you a dog lover?
Next time you walk your furry friend take a moment to think about some of the council services that make the experience a whole lot more enjoyable - footpaths, street crossings, walking trails, dog parks, and even special bags for Rover's business!
As well as providing special dog-off-leash parks, South Australian councils manage hundreds of local parks and playgrounds, and maintain thousands of kilometers of walking trails. In 2014/15 SA councils invested approximately $171 million (8% of their combined annual budget) in public parks and gardens, and $341 million (17% of their combined budget) on maintaining and renewing roads, footpaths and kerbing.
Many councils also offer programs to encourage responsible pet ownership, including dog obedience and owner education programs and microchipping vouchers/days.
To find out what’s available in your council area visit your council website.
Pet registration enables councils to quickly identify lost animals and reunite them with their owners. Last year SA councils returned over 8,000 animals to relieved families. (Reminder – dog registrations are due in August. If you’ve moved house make sure you update your details beforehand.)
Have you ever considered how everyday life is improved by the many services councils provide?
Councils are responsible for delivering hundreds of services and facilities that contribute to building strong and vibrant communities. As part of this councils look after about $22 billion of public assets.
A snapshot of the services and facilities provided by South Australian councils includes:
| street lighting │ arts and culture programs │bushfire prevention │ caravan parks │ cemeteries │ coastal care initiatives │ community buses │ community centres │ wetlands │ development and planning services │ dog and cat management │ disability services │ economic development initiatives │ environmental programs │ events │ footpath maintenance │ heritage activities │ immunisation clinics │ libraries │ museums │ roads │ men’s sheds │ footy and soccer ovals │ netball and tennis courts │ aged care services │ playgrounds │ public pools │ recycling facilities │ skate parks │ stormwater drains│
For more facts and figures, Local Government in Profile provides a snapshot of local government in SA.
These services and facilities rely on the rates and fees collected from ratepayers within a council’s boundaries. Council rates are a form of taxation, and as the main source of funding for councils, they’re essential in enabling them to deliver the services and facilities that your community relies on.
Council rates make up about 70% of the revenue received by councils. The remaining 30% is made up of government grants, user fees and other funding.
For an average Australian household council rates equate to around $3.50 per day (or $25 per week). This represents just under 2% of the average weekly household expenditure of $1200. And in return, ratepayers have access to hundreds of services and facilities.
Council rates are only a fraction of the total taxes paid by Australians – less than 4% in fact. Meanwhile, the federal government collects approximately 80% of the taxes that Australians pay, while state government collects about 16%.
Some of the tax revenue that is collected by federal, state and local government is shared or passed on between the different spheres of government. For example, councils receive Financial Assistance Grants from the federal government to support local communities, and the state government supports councils through a range of grant programs. Some of the revenue collected by councils, such as the NRM levy, is required to be passed back to the state government.
Even with support from federal and state government, councils still only receive 4.5% of all taxes collected.