The Liberals and Nationals have secured a parliamentary inquiry into local government funding and service delivery.
“The electorate of Northern Victoria that I represent covers nearly half of the state, and there are 27 local councils in the region,” Ms Broad told Parliament.
Ms Broad said: “I have met with many councils across the region, and between state and local government it’s not always clear who pays for what, and how much each should pay.”
“This inquiry will provide an important opportunity for feedback – to examine what is working well and what can be done better.”
Ms Broad said the school crossing system was a good example of a State Government program where local councils had been left to pick up the cost.
“In March this year the Strathbogie council decided to exit the school crossing program because it was costing local ratepayers about $50,000 each year to deliver.”
Ms Broad said local ratepayers were paying about 62 per cent of the cost of the program. The shire has now joined 28 other Victorian councils seeking funds for this critical service.
“Local councils often go cap in hand to the State Government seeking funding, especially after the floods,” she said.
“Our regional roads were already in disrepair and the floods made them even worse. The same could be said for the repair of levee banks that exist to protect assets from flooding.
“This inquiry will also examine the disparity in funding models where inner-city councils benefit from high-density housing but regional councils have fewer properties that cover a much larger area.”
“Parking revenue is another income stream that works for city councils, but not in many regional areas.”
“Once the committee’s inquiry opens, I encourage both Local Councils and residents to make submissions to the inquiry.”
Ms Broad said: “Their feedback will shape the report and recommendations made to the government to help shape a more sustainable future for local government and the services they provide.”
The Economy and Infrastructure Committee of the Legislative Council will report to the government by 30 June 2024.