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Local Government Grants Commission

The Local Government Grants Commission makes recommendations to the Minister on the distribution of untied Commonwealth Financial Assistance Grants to local governing authorities in South Australia

Each jurisdiction in Australia must have a Local Government Grants Commission (LGGC) for the state to be eligible to receive and make recommendations on the distribution of Financial Assistance Grants (FA Grants). 

FA Grants help councils to provide services to their communities. 

They are provided only to councils established under the Local Government Act 1999 and prescribed bodies under the South Australian Local Government Grants Commission Act 1992.

Legislative framework

The LGGC is established under the South Australian Local Government Grants Commission Act 1992 and sets out:

  • how Commissioners are appointed
  • the requirements around making recommendations on the distribution of FA Grants
  • how the Commission's administration is supported by the state government. 

The Commonwealth Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995 governs the way FA Grant recommendations are made. 

It also provides for:

  • a per capita distribution (to the states) for the general financial assistance component
  • the continued separate identification of local road funding and maintenance of existing state shares for that funding
  • a national report on the operation of the Act - specifically the achievement of horizontal equalisation, the methods used by the state commissions, performance of councils including their efficiency, provision of services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • a set of seven national principles governing the distribution of grants among councils based on horizontal fiscal equalisation (subject to the minimum grant entitlement)

National principles

The National Principles underpin the distribution methodology used by the Commission. These principles are a consistent way to distribute FA Grants to local governments across Australia.

Local government consultation

The SA LGGC carries out regular visits to councils to:

  • explain how the commission works
  • raise queries with councils about information submitted in their financial statements, general information returns and submissions
  • encourage discussion between the commission and council about both the grant calculation procedures and to address any issues councils experience with current procedures
  • inspect, if necessary, physical features or structures, which are relevant to the distribution of funds.

Publications

Annual reports
Information papers
Database reports

The Commission publishes database reports each year containing a range of relevant information on local government.

Information published in the reports is collected from councils and other government agencies as part of the FA Grant recommendation process.

Care should be taken when comparing or interpreting the figures of individual councils. South Australian councils provide a wide range of services and cater to a range of different communities. 

It is generally not meaningful to compare data without an understanding or explanation of the differing financial and asset management strategies and strategic targets set by councils.

Interested readers are encouraged to contact individual councils for further information.

The 2019-20 Database Reports were reissued on 14 October 2021. Adjusted ratios have been amended (from a previous release) to adjust for the early payment of Supplementary Local Road Funding. Peterborough has also been added to the dataset. 

Previous reports

Contact

South Australian Local Government Grants Commission

Phone:  08 7109 7164

Email: grants.commission [at] sa.gov.au

GPO Box 2329

ADELAIDE SA 5001