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1376.0 - Local Government and ABS, Sep 2011  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/09/2011   
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Image: What's Happening in Local Government Finance? What's Happening in Local Government Finance?


The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) collects and publishes annual Local Government Finance data, including the amount and purpose of local government expenditure. These annual financial data are collected from the Department of Local Government or Grants Commission in each state or territory. The ABS also undertakes a quarterly sample survey of councils.


The Local Government Statistical Unit (LGSU) of the ABS is currently preparing to receive and process the 2010-11 Annual Data returns. The financial and function data on these forms are edited and the output used by the ABS to compile Government Finance Statistics (GFS). Data were published in Government Finance Statistics, Australia (cat. no. 5512.0) in early April.

The 2009-10 Annual Data returns supplied by each of the Department of Local Government/Grants Commissions have been processed and aggregated data for the Local Government Sector has been released.

At 30 June 2010, these data indicated that the GFS Net Worth of the total local government sector in Australia was an estimated $311 billion, an increase of $34.2 billion (12.4%) since 30 June 2009. The $36.3 billion increase in Land and fixed assets was offset by a decrease of $617 million in other non-financial assets. Liabilities of the total local government sector in Australia had increased by $3.1 billion from 30 June 2009 to 30 June 2010.



Financial Assets
16 137
17 775
Non-financial Assets
273 140
308 855
289 277
326 630
12 455
15 588
Shares and other contributed capital
GFS Net Worth
276 822
311 042
Net financial worth
3 682
2 187

More financial and function data are published in Government Finance Statistics, Australia (cat. no. 5512.0) and 2009-10 data was released on 20 April 2011.


The ABS conducts a quarterly survey of financial information which will be despatched to a selected sample of councils each quarter. The next round of quarterly survey forms will be despatched in the third week of September. Responses are required by 10 October 2011. Early attention to the survey forms, enabling a timely return to the ABS will ensure that the financial activity of local government is accurately represented in Australia's National Accounts.

The ABS thanks councils for their cooperation in providing timely and high quality data for these collections. The information provided is used in making important policy decisions concerning the sector and it is important that accurate and timely information is returned by councils to build this data set.


Each year, the LGSU endeavours to meet with state/territory Grants Commissions or Departments of Local Government to review the recently completed annual collection and to commence preparations for the next cycle. These meetings are to be scheduled in accordance with the forward work program of LGSU and are in the process of being finalised.


For further information or inquiries about Local Government Statistics, contact the Local Government Statistical Unit on (07) 3222 6374.

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