Lower council rates for South Australian households and businesses could be on the way following the Marshall Government’s response to the South Australian Productivity Commission’s (SAPC) Inquiry into Local Government Costs and Efficiency.
The State Government’s response provides broad support for the nine recommendations for State Government and the ten pieces of advice to councils for action and improvement.
“We have given broad support for all the recommendations and advice the Productivity Commission has provided to lower council rates and improve transparency,” said Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Stephan Knoll.
“The report clearly identifies there is scope to reduce council rates for South Australian households and businesses, slash red tape and improve transparency.
“Last year Labor blocked our plan to cap council rates, but the Marshall Government is determined to deliver on our election commitment to lower costs through these reforms.
“A key reform will be a new website that captures easy-to-understand information for communities on how their council is performing.
“We know that benchmarking works and where it has been trialled by some councils, they have seen cost savings of up to 22 per cent.
“We want these cost savings to be passed on to South Australian households and businesses through lower council rates.
“If ratepayers can compare and understand how different councils are performing with delivering key services and keeping their costs down, they can effectively engage with their councils on their most important decisions.
“We will consult with the community about what they would like included on this website and we expect it to be operational by the end of 2020.
“The State Government will also engage the local government sector to identify how both spheres of government can put concrete actions in place to reduce red-tape.”
The Marshall Government will now work with the local government sector to progress the Commission’s recommendations, focused on:
- Information for improved decision making;
- Managing cost pressures;
- Efficiency and continuous improvement, and,
- Governance, accountability and transparency.