Northern Territory Local Government Grants Commission 1987 Report on Distribution of Funds under the Local Government Financial Assistance Act 1986
Tabled Paper 228
Tabled Papers for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
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With reference to its assessment of relative expenditure needs, the Commission was greatly hampered by the absence of comprehensive data providing clear indicators of the magnitude of relative expenditure disabilities suffered by local governing bodies. Existing data bases presently lack comparability between local governing bodies and appear to reflect not only expenditure disabilities, but also differences in classification and underlying policy differences making direct comparisons difficult and inconclusive. Improvements to the Commission's data base are a matter of high priority for the Commission and will be discussed as a matter of urgency with local governing bodies. Against the background of these limitations the Commission has attempted to assess differences between local governing bodies on a policy neutral basis and in accordance with horizontal equalisation principles. Where necessary the Commission has used broad judgement in drawing conclusions on the relative impact of expenditure disabilities on local governing bodies. Particular aspects which it has sought to take into account have been factors which bear not only on the demand by residents for council services, but also on the cost to council of supplying those services. Factors relevant to the demand for services considered by the Commission include: Age/sex composition - those demographic characteristics which influence the demand for services such as recreation facilities, libraries and welfare services. Non-resident users of council services - the demand for services by tourists, transients and other non-resident populations not included in the population count used by the Commission for assessment purposes. Economic and commercial development - the additional demand for services generated by relatively more extensive commercial and industrial developments. Factors relevant to the unit cost of supply services which the Commission has sought to take into account include: Diseconomies of scale Isolation Population distribution Physical environment (topography, climate, etc.). In making its assessments the Commission has generally had regard to all recurrent expenditure by local governing bodies. Only those items which are clearly without parallel in the 6
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