State Grants Commission Annual Cycle
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, the Commission also conducts a rolling program of council visits, where approximately one third of all councils are invited to participate in a visit each year. This program is aimed at the Commission visiting every council at least once every three years. Councils not due for a visit by the Commission, or declining the Commission's visit invitation, are invited to attend a hearing with the Commission.
Invitations for virtual Commission visits in 2022 were issued to the following councils:
- South: Brighton Council, Derwent Valley Council, Glenorchy City Council and Sorell Council
- North: Flinders Island Council, Northern Midlands Council and West Tamar Council
- North West: Burnie City Council, Circular Head Council and Devonport City Council
The Commission will be conducting its 2023 Hearings and Visits over February and March. These meetings are open to the general public. Members of the public wishing to attend any specific council's hearing or visit will be given the opportunity to pre-register their attendance.
Current Research Focus
Review of the Commission's Methodology for Estimating Road Preservation Costs
The State Grants Commission is currently undertaking a major review of its methodology for estimating road preservation costs to ensure that it is reflective of contemporary road and bridge preservation by councils. This includes consideration of road and bridge classification, appropriate standard preservation costs and the impact of existing and possibly new cost adjustors.
The Commission undertook a survey of all councils in October-November 2021 on aspects of its current methodology. The Commission considered the results of the survey and issued a Conversation Starter CS22-02 2021-22 Review of the Road Preservation Model - Opportunities for improvements - January 2022 (CS22-02).
Virtual workshops were conducted over 21-28 February 2022 to receive council feedback on the questions posed in CS22-02. A summary of the feedback received is provided in Report-Summary Council Feedback on CS22-02 Conversation Starter RPM Review Workshops - For website March 2022.
The Commission then issued a more detailed Discussion Paper ( Discussion Paper DP22-02 Road Preservation Model Methodology Review - Changing the underlying basis of the RPM). DP22-02 provided both an update on the decisions that the Commission has made to date and seeking council submissions on further aspects of the Commission's methodology as a result of feedback received, data sourcing and analysis work that has occurred since the workshops. An addendum to DP22-02 was also issued: Road Preservation Model Methodology Review - Changing the underlying basis of the RPM Discussion Paper DP22-02 Addendum May 2022. The Commission received seven submissions on DP22-02.
In late 2022, the Commission engaged a road engineering consultant to provide high-level estimates of annual road preservation costs based on the Local Government Road Hierarchy model of classifying roads, as published by the Local Government Division of the Department of Premier and Cabinet in 2015. The Commission is currently considering the advice received from the consultant.
RPM Project Updates:
Information Paper IP22-01 2021-22 Review of the Road Preservation Model - Status Report 27 Jan 2022
Information Paper IP22-02: 2021-22 Review of the Road Preservation Model - Status Report 17 May 2022
Information Paper IP22-09: 2021-22 Review of the Road Preservation Model - Status Report 22 December 2022
Section updated: 17 March 2023
The Commission seeks to improve transparency and comprehension of its methodologies with councils.
In this vein, the Commission has developed some short, general purpose guidance and educational material on aspects of the FA Grant program in the form of fact sheets. These are aimed at assisting stakeholders understand, in general terms, concepts associated with the administration of the Australian Government's Local Government FA Grant program in Tasmania including the following:.
Fact Sheet FS-001: The National Financial Assistance Grant (FA Grant) Funding Pool and Australian Government's calculation of Tasmania's allocation: Indexation
Fact Sheet FS-002: The National Financial Assistance Grant (FA Grant) Funding Pool and Australian Government's calculation of Tasmania's allocation: Advance Payments
Fact Sheet FS-003: Cost Adjustor Impacts
Fact Sheet FS‑004: Australian Government advice in relation to payment of Financial Assistance Grants and distribution to councils
The Commission welcomes feedback from councils on the usefulness of these Fact Sheets as well as ideas and suggestions for further topics to be addressed in this format.
In addition to any discussion papers, infor mation papers, conversation starter and fact sheet 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 or via email.
For details on the outcome and decisions made by the Commission following previous Hearings and Visits discussions, please refer to the relevant sections of the Commission's Annual Reports.