The Queensland Government has replaced the former government’s Royalties for Regions program with its own 200 million ‘Building our Regions’ Program and is calling for applications from local councils. See:
A commendable aspect is the requirement to provide a cost benefit analysis on applications for funding over $500,000. Application for amounts below that will still be subject to a benefit analysis.
There are pros and cons with this type of handout – are projects genuinely additional, will co-contributions be effective, is effective, long term infrastructure planning distorted?
However, it can hardly be argued local councils are drowning in funds to invest in infrastructure.
Recognising the Government is looking for shovel-ready projects, applications close 11 September.
Effective and efficient provision of waste management is a key municipal service. As elements of local government waste management systems are contracted out councils increasingly need to be able to assure rate payers they are achieving value for money.
Also, some councils are moving to separate charges for waste services. Complexities around collection, recycling and disposal tie together environmental issues, land planning, transport logistics and commercial arrangements with continuing governance oversight by councils.
A robust approach to full cost pricing enables councils to see where key costs lie, what drivers are involved and where community service obligations may be introduced. It also enables better investment planning and funding.
Lytton Advisory is currently developing a full cost pricing approach to waste service infrastructure for a local council in Queensland.