If local councils are bearing the brunt of cost shifting from both the federal and state governments, we know who’s footing the bill.
The Heidelberg & Valley Weekly has reported that in Banyule Shire the councillors are prepared to consider withdrawing money from services they believe the state government should be entirely funding.
The amount of ‘cost shifting’ has been estimated at between $500m and $1.1b every year by the ALGA (Australian Local Government Association) but last year an intergovernmental agreement was signed ‘to ease the cost shifting burden on councils’.
‘Rates & Taxes: A fair share for responsible local government’ states:
‘there is no doubt that local government has, over a number of years, been on the wrong end of cost shifting, largely by state governments’.
A further agreement was signed in September 2006 recognising the role of local government as part of Australia’s democratic system.
In May 2007, Cr Dick Gross, president of Victoria’s MAV (Municipal Association Vic) is welcoming Banyule’s action as fantastic!
Other services that used to be predominately covered by the state government, apart from library services, include:
“We’ve been whingeing about this for more than a decade – it’s reached unacceptable levels.”