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 2020, invitations for Commission visits are being issued to the following councils:
- South: Clarence City Council, Glamorgan Spring Bay Council, Hobart City Council and Tasman Council
- North: Break O’Day Council, Dorset Council, Meander Valley Council
- North West: King Island Council, Devonport City Council, Latrobe Council.
Current Research Focus
In 2019-20, the Commission anticipates issuing its preliminary decision to councils on the likely form of its proposed Socio-Economic Index For Areas (SEIFA) based Cost Adjustor, which is expected to replace the Unemployment Cost Adjustor at the conclusion of the 2019-22 Triennium.
The Commission also intends to:
- further progress its review into the impact of non-residents and how its Regional Responsibility Cost Adjustor interacts with its other non-resident type cost adjustors; and
- consider a proposal for an island isolation adjustor received from Flinders Island.
Written submissions on the Discussion Paper are expected to be due in late December 2019/early January 2020. 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 2020 Hearings and Visits. These are expected to be organised to occur during February - March 2020.
During the 2019 Hearings and Visits, in response to Conversation Starter CD19-01 - Engagement with councils, the Commission received feedback regarding the timing of its processes. As a result, the Commission plans to implement new processes and arrangements to enable it to issue discussion and research papers earlier than has been past practice. Issuing Discussion Papers earlier will enable the due date for written submissions from councils to be brought forward to late December, rather than the current window of January-February. Please note that these changes may not be fully implemented in time for the 2020 Hearings and Visits processes.
In addition to any discussion papers, work plans and any conversation starter topics prepared by the Commission, councils are always invited to raise other relevant issues with the Commission as part of the annual hearings and visits program.
For details on the outcome and decisions made by the Commission following the 2019 Hearings and Visits discussions, please refer to Section 4 of the State Grants Commission 2018-19 Annual Report Including 2019-20 Financial Assistance Grant Recommendations.