Local government funding and financing


The Government has asked the Commission to undertake an inquiry into local government funding and financing and to examine options and approaches for improving the system.

We released our draft report in July 2019 and sought feedback on the ideas and recommendations via submissions. The inquiry team are currently reviewing submissions and carrying out further research and analysis to inform our final report which is due to the Government on 30 November 2019.

Local government funding and financing


  • Our brief
    16 July 2018
  • Issues paper
    6 November 2018
  • Submissions closed 15 February 2019
  • Draft report
    4 July 2019
  • Submissions open
  • Submissions due 29 August 2019
  • Final report
    30 November 2019
  • Evaluation
    December 2019
  • Government response

What has the inquiry found?

In our draft report, the Commission found that the current funding and financing framework measures up well against the principles of a good system. The current system, based on rating properties, is simple and economically efficient, compared to alternatives. The Commission recommends that the current system should therefore remain as the foundation of a fit-for-purpose future funding and financing system for local government.

However, councils need new tools to help them deal with some specific cost pressures. New funding tools are required in four areas:

  1. Supplying enough infrastructure to support rapid urban growth;
  2. Adapting to climate change;
  3. Coping with the growth of tourism; and
  4. The accumulation of responsibilities placed on local government by central government.

We also found that there is significant scope for councils to make better use of existing funding, and improve their organisational performance, productivity and decision making.

Community engagement

The draft report makes 67 findings, 30 recommendations and asks eight questions. Testing the ideas and recommendations in this report was the next step in our inquiry and we invited public feedback by 29 August 2019. View submissions here.

Please see below for the draft report, summary documents and commissioned research reports.

Key documents