A Deloitte Access Economics report commissioned by the Property Council of Australia, Tasmania Division has identified up to a 35 percent efficiency gain if structural reform of local government is effectively undertaken in Tasmania.
Property Council Executive Director, Mary Massina said in releasing the Deloitte Access Economics report it was time for a mature debate on the future of local government in Tasmania.
“Tasmania as a state is at an economic crossroads and it is time for us to face up to the need for reform of local government, especially if efficiencies of up to one-third can be gained,” Ms Massina said.
“Put simply, you should not reform other sectors of the economy, such as the public sector as well as planning, without also having a comprehensive look at local government.”
The report has been released following a Southern Tasmanian Councils Association investigation into the future of local government, which saw majority community support for resource sharing and amalgamations at local government level.
Ms Massina said Deloitte Access Economics was asked to look at local government in Tasmania because they are one of the nation’s most respected independent economic commentators.
“Deloitte Access Economics has found structural reforms in Tasmania could allow for efficiency gains of up to 35 percent, with past experience in Tasmania and other states suggesting gains of at least 10 to 20 percent,” Ms Massina said.
“The report highlights that reform to local government could provide significant benefits to local communities through economies of scale, improved specialisation and greater competency within councils.
“In addition, local government would have the opportunity to increase service levels to a broader cross-section of the community, with the possibility of also reducing rates or at least making increases less frequent.”
Ms Massina said that resource sharing as a stand alone measure did not deliver sufficient community gains and addressing the cost of council governance was the only way to help drive efficiencies and allow for increased service delivery to the community.
“For too long, the need for local government reform has been the elephant in the room, but with the community facing spiralling costs of living, including rates bills, it is time to have a mature debate about the need for reform,” she said.
For further information: Mary Massina: 0408 594 312