Schedule of Hearings and Visits.
Under Section 11 of the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995
, a state is not entitled to receive its grants unless the state's local government grants commission has held public hearings in connection with the recommendations and permitted or required local governing bodies in the state, or associations of those bodies, to make submissions to it in connection with the recommendations.
In accordance with the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995
requirement to hold public hearings the Commission holds advertised annual hearings in regional centres at which councils and the general public can attend. All councils are invited to participate in the consultation process and attend regional hearings.
In parallel with the annual hearings program, the Commission also conducts a rolling program of council visits. Each year the Commission offers approximately one third of all councils a visit by the Commission. This program is aimed at the Commission visiting every council at least once every three years.
In 2017, invitations for Commission visits are due to be issued to the following councils:
- South: Derwent Valley Council, Hobart City Council, Tasman Council, Clarence City Council
- North: Meander Valley Council, Dorset Council, Break O'Day Council
- North West: King Island Council, Devonport City Council, Latrobe Council
Current Research Focus
2016 was a "take stock" year for the Commission to allow for a review of its internal processes and conduct training sessions for councils on the Commission's methods. Councils were also asked to comment on the Commission's draft Triennium Plan and discuss matters of council interest.
Following feedback from councils as part of the 2016 Hearings and Visits, the Commission finalised and issued its 2018-19 Triennium Work Plan (Information Paper IP16-06 - 2018-19 Triennium Work Plan
) in May 2016. This document outlines the expected focus of Commission reviews into aspects of its methodology for each year of the current Triennium, as well as the start of the next triennium.
Over 2016-17, the Commission is reviewing:
- the future of the Tourism Cost Adjustor used in the Base Grant Model; and
- reviewing aspects of its Road Preservation Model (RPM), primarily focusing on the current assumed asset lives used for each component of council urban sealed, rural sealed and unsealed roads which determine the per kilometre asset preservation rates; the urbanisation allowance; and RPM costs adjustors.
The Commission currently expects to issue discussion papers on the above matters in December 2016, with written submissions due back in late January 2017. Councils will also have the opportunity to provide verbal submissions, discuss their written submissions, and raise other matters of interest with the Commission at the 2017 Hearings and Visits. These are expected to occur during February - March 2017.
For details on the outcome of the 2016 Hearings and Visits discussions, please refer to the Commission's 2015-16 Annual Report.