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 2018, invitations for Commission visits have been issued to the following councils:
- South: Huon Valley Council, Kingborough Council, Central Highlands Council, Derwent Valley Council, Southern Midlands Council
- North: Launceston City Council, George Town Council
- North West: West Coast Council, Waratah-Wynyard Council, Central Coast Council
Current Research Focus
The Commission is reviewing its Regional Responsibility Cost Adjustor in 2018. In preparation for this, the Commission issued Discussion Paper DP18-01 REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITY - The obligations that come with being a major regional hub in December 2017 for discussion with councils at the 2018 Hearings and Visits.
In December 2017, in preparation for the 2018 Hearings and Visits, the Commission also issued two Conversation Starter Flyers, CS18-01 Resource sharing effects and CS18 02 Socioeconomic impacts.
The Commission has prepared these Conversation Starter flyers to act as thought provokers and conversation starters in order to initiate discussions on the impacts of resource sharing and socioeconomic factors on council expenditures. The intention is to gain council input early in the process of formulating any reviews to help the Commission determine the potential direction of such reviews of these topics.
Written submissions on these publications is due back in early February 2018. 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 2018 Hearings and Visits. These are scheduled to occur during February - March 2018.
In the event that feedback from councils indicate it is appropriate to undertake a more detailed review on a Conversation Starter topic, it is envisaged that further work would occur and a detailed discussion paper would subsequently be issued.
For details on the outcome and decisions made by the Commission following the 2017 Hearings and Visits discussions, please refer to Section 4 of the Commission's 2016-17 Annual Report.