Use of debt by Australian local councils

Use of debt by Australian local councils
24 February 2014

The Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG) has released significant research on local government finance called 'Debt is Not a Dirty Word: The Role and Use of Debt in Local Government'.

The paper was prepared by John Comrie with support by consortium partner, the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA).

Of its findings, the research suggests that the closely managed use of debt by Australian local councils would address infrastructure backlogs and positively support sustainable local communities and organisation performance.

The aim of the project has been to support the Australian local government sector contend with the increasingly complex financial arrangements and considerations required to viably operate a contemporary local council now and into the future. The research builds upon the landmark ACELG paper, In Our Hands, Strengthening Local Government Revenue for the 21st Century.

Key chapters include financial fundamentals; review of local government debt and financial performance; local government debt management theory; local government debt management practices. 

The research was overseen by a reference group that included senior representatives from all local government jurisdictions. ACELG will continue this consultative approach in gaining feedback about the research findings, and a series of workshops and presentations are planned.


Download Paper

Download media release, including quotes from ACELG and IPWEA executive staff.


For more information, contact Melissa Gibbs.

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