LGA: Cost-shifting of services to councils costs big bucks

THE legacy of years of shifting state and federal government costs on to councils has sparked a call from the local government sector to increase funding to provide services.

A submission from the Australian Local Government Association says the cost-shifting of services to councils has cost between $500 million and $1 billion.

The biggest changes that have left councils without funds to supply services were the move of regional airports and childcare centres to local governments.

Council are urging the Federal Government to change the terms of agreements to help pay for such services, to ensure services can be maintained and improved.

The association also called for more funds to help manage the impacts of natural disasters and pay for emergency management.

"Aside from the need to protect the safety of people, their pets and livestock, the costs carried by community in replacing damaged or destroyed structures and supporting infrastructure is substantive," the submission reads.

"The current level of funding for potential mitigation measures is clearly inadequate compared with the scale of damage and substantial returns for mitigation investments."

The association called for a return to a funding formula of $2 from each of the federal and state governments for every one dollar spent by councils.

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