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Rates and charges

Who sets rates, how they are decided, and what type of rates and charges exist in Queensland.

Sustainability and reporting

Long-term financial and asset management planning is essential to ensure local governments can continue to provide the desired levels of services to residents now and into the future, within their respective financial capacities.

Annual financial reporting

Local governments are required to prepare audited annual financial statements that comply with local government legislation and the Australian Accounting Standards.

Financial forecasts

Local Governments with existing debt or intending to borrow are required to submit their long-term financial forecast annually to Queensland Treasury Corporation and the Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs.

Borrowing program

In accordance with the Statutory Bodies Financial Arrangements Act 1982, a Local Government is required to obtain the Treasurer’s approval to undertake borrowings.

Under a General Approval dated 23 May 2003 issued by the Queensland Treasurer, the Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs may grant approval for Local Governments to borrow from, or establish Working Capital Facilities, with Queensland Treasury Corporation.

Each year the Department sets out the application process and timeframes for the Local Government Borrowing Program.

Local government financial arrangements

The Statutory Bodies Financial Arrangements Act 1982 provides that local governments must first obtain the Treasurer's approval prior to entering into financial arrangements such as entering into a lease as lessee, forming a company, entering into a trust, providing loans to community organisations and council-owned entities, and providing guarantees and indemnities.

Controlled entities notifications

The Auditor-General Act 2009 requires the Minister for Local Government to advise the Treasurer and the Auditor-General when a controlled entity is established or abolished by a local government. In order for the Minister to fulfil this obligation, local governments need to notify the Department of any new or discontinued controlled entities.

Investment Policy Guidelines

Local governments derive their investment powers from Part 6 of the Statutory Bodies Financial Arrangements Act 1982 (SBFA Act). Local governments are required to invest in a prudent and appropriate manner. These Investment Policy Guidelines are designed to assist local governments in understanding their obligations under the SBFA Act, and to provide direction on some of the key considerations that should form the development of a prudent and appropriate investment framework.

National Competition Policy

The Local Government Act 2009 (LGA) and the City of Brisbane Act 2010 (COBA) include requirements to ensure local governments comply with the National Competition Policy (NCP).

Interest rate on overdue rates and charges

Section 133 of the Local Government Regulation 2012 (LGR) and section 125 of the City of Brisbane Regulation 2012 (CBR) have been amended to change the way that the maximum interest rate on overdue rates and charges is calculated.

Budgets and rating resolutions

Councils are required to adopt a budget for each financial year, detailing the council’s budgeted income and expenditure. The budget is adopted at a budget meeting, where councils decide the rates and charges for the year.