The Property Council has reignited the local government reform debate.
Supporting this new initiative, the Tasmanian Division commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to analyse the efficiency gains to be had by a restructure of local government.
The key findings of this report are:
+ Structural reform could allow for efficiency gains of up to 35 per cent if appropriately conceived and effectively managed. That is $110 million annual savings in the south alone.
Past experience in Tasmanian and elsewhere in Australia suggests gains of at least 10 – 20 per cent.
+ Benefits will be achieved through economies of scale, broadened scope of operations and improved specialisation, creating potential for enhanced financial sustainability, more efficient governance and greater competency within councils.
+ Community benefits will be achieved through a greater capacity to deliver improved and potentially increased service levels to a broader section of the community, while either reducing or slowing the rate of increase of council rates.
Mary Massina, the Property Council's Tasmanian Executive Director, says members should read the report (Deloitte Access Economics report) and get involved in the debate - "Local government shouldn't be unaccountable," she says.