Parliamentary inquiry into local government secured by Liberals and Nationals

Media Release

The Liberals and Nationals have heard concerns from councils about costs being handballed to them from the State and Federal Governments, and the struggles local councils face in delivering their core services. 

They successfully secured a parliamentary inquiry into local government funding and service delivery in a bid to improve these matters. 

State Liberal Member for Eildon, Cindy McLeish, said that the inquiry will provide constructive advice to the state government on building a more sustainable future for Victoria’s local councils.

“Yarra Ranges Council and Nillumbik Shire Council work hard to meet local demands whilst balancing budgets and core responsibilities including road maintenance, rubbish collection, footpaths and libraries.”

“The inquiry will give the government an opportunity to examine the local government funding model and see where improvements can be made to better outcomes for the council and in turn community members across the Yarra Ranges and Nillumbik Shires,” Ms McLeish said.  

This inquiry was endorsed by the parliament in the face of strong opposition from the Andrews Government, the Animal Justice Party, and the Legalise Cannabis Party.

Ms McLeish continued, “Many councils are understandably fed up with Labor shifting costs like road repairs onto local government. It’s not fair and many councils simply cannot afford to foot the bill.”

“It is important for state government to work with local government, not make systems harder.” 

In 2019, Labor ignored 20 recommendations from their own local rating system review. The inquiry will hold the Andrews Labor Government to account and prevent them from undermining local councils.  

The Economy and Infrastructure Committee of the Legislative Council will complete the inquiry and deliver recommendations to the government by 30 June 2024. 

Community members will have the opportunity to make submissions to the inquiry.

Motion passed by the Legislative Council on 3 May 2023:

That requires the Economy and infrastructure Committee to inquire into, consider and report, by 30 June 2024, on local government funding and service delivery in Victoria, including but not limited to — 

  1. the effects of cost shifting from the state and federal governments to local councils in an examination of vertical and horizontal fiscal imbalances;
  2. whether local councils are adequately delivering on their core service delivery objectives;
  3. the overall revenue structure of local government;
  4. whether the existing revenue structure is sustainable and appropriate or if alternative models of funding would be more sustainable and appropriate; and
  5. any other related matters.