5501.2 - Local Government Finance, Victoria, 1999-2000  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/06/2001   
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In 1999-2000, total revenue for Victorian local government increased by 4.6 % to $3,337.7m, an increase of $146.7m, from $3,191m in 1998-99. Income from rates and charges, fees and fines accounted for more than 60 % of all revenue in 1999-2000.

Local Government Revenue by type-graph


Total outlays in 1999-2000 increased by $121.3m (3.9 %) to $3,221.6m. Expenditure for the purpose of recreation and culture increased by more than 10 % to $666.6m and accounted for more than 20 % of total outlays.

Local government Outlays by purpose-graph


In 1999-2000, outlays for roads, streets and bridges as a proportion of total outlays for local government in the Melbourne Statistical Division (MSD) was almost 10 % less on average than the proportion of total outlays for that purpose by local governments outside the MSD. Conversely, the proportions of total outlays for recreation and culture by local government in the MSD and for the rest of the State were 23.1 % and 16.4 % respectively.

Outlays by purpose,distribution-graph


Local government in Victoria raised $92.4m in new debt during 1999-2000. Overall, long-term debt increased by $23.0m over the same period. Total debt redeemed was $69.4m, which is the lowest level of yearly debt redeemed in the past three years. Of the 78 local governments, 10 reported no long-term debt as at June 2000 (9 of these were within the MSD).

Local Government long-term debt-graph


Across Victoria, the average gross rates levied per rateable property by local governments was $662. The Shire of Golden Plains had the lowest average gross rates levied per rateable property ($389) and the City of Kingston had the lowest in the MSD ($500).


In 1999-2000, about $360.6m was spent by local government in Victoria on local roads. Almost one-third ($114.7m) of that expenditure was capital works for new and upgraded roads. Almost $246m was spent to maintain more than 120,000 kilometres of roads.

The Shire of Yarriambiack spent the most for local road maintenance per capita ($370.60) and had the highest proportion of local roads expenditure to total expenditure (31%) while the City of Monash spent the least ($5.50 per capita).
On average, local road expenditure as a proportion of total expenditure for those councils defined as rural (19.5%) was more than twice that of councils defined as metropolitan (9.2%).



1 This publication contains statistics about outlays, revenue and financing of Victorian local government councils for the financial year 1999-2000. The statistics have been collated from data items collected annually by the Victoria Grants Commission (VGC). Data are provided by councils on the basis of accrual accounting consistent with Australian Accounting Standard (AAS) 27.

2 Where further information or clarification was required, information was sought from the respective councils, their annual reports or other officially published material relating to Victorian local government.


3 Information relating to capital expenditure and maintenance of local roads by local government is included in this publication for the first time. The information is classified according to regional, rural and metropolitan groupings as developed by the VGC.


4 The scope for this publication is the financial transactions for 1999-2000 of the 78 Victorian local government councils. The data constitute a full enumeration.

5 Services provided by councils are partly financed by local taxes (rates) which are levied on the owners or occupiers of rateable property by each local government council. Historically, councils charged rates on the net annual value, on site value of a rateable property, or a combination of both. The majority of councils now charge rates on the capital improved value of the rateable property.


6 Data presented in this publication are typically aggregations of line items reported in the VGC form for each council. Figures are aggregated by VGC line item on a gross basis into categories consistent with Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) government finance statistics classifications. A Glossary of terms for economic type transactions used in this publication is provided after the Appendix.

7 The ABS has prepared the Australian Standard Geographic Classification (ASGC) (Cat.no.1216.0) for use in the collection, compilation and publication of its statistics. The ASGC is a system for the classification of statistical units by geographical areas. Two ASGC hierarchical structures are used in this publication:
  • Main Structure - representing the Statistical Division and Statistical Subdivision; and
  • Local Government Area Structure - the spatial unit which represents the whole, undivided geographical area of responsibility of an incorporated local government council.

8 The 2000 edition of the ASGC applies to this publication.


9 In compliance with AAS 27, councils are now allocating their general expenses across the expenditure items to which they relate. This affects data comparability with aggregated data for previous years, as some general expenses previously classified to general public services have now been allocated across functions. Comparability between individual councils is also affected, as a result of differing levels of compliance.


10 Local government finance statistics for Victoria are collected jointly with the VGC. The ABS acknowledges the assistance of the VGC and local government councils in this collection.


11 Users may refer to the following publications which contain related information.

Australian Standard Geographical Classification (Cat.no.1216.0) - issued annually

Statistical Geography, Victoria (Cat.no.1103.2) - last issued 1996

Classification Manual for Government Finance Statistics, Australia (Cat.no.1217.0) - last issued 1989

Government Finance Statistics, Australia (Cat.no. 5512.0) - issued annually

Government Finance Statistics - Concepts, Sources and Methods (Cat.no.5514.0) - last issued 1995

Victoria Grants Commission Annual Report - issued annually


Accrual-basis accounting

Accounting which recognises (records) the impact of a business event as it occurs, regardless of whether it corresponds with a cash movement.

Capital improved value

A rating system whereby rates are charged according to the capital improved value of the rateable property. See section 2 of the Valuation of Land Act 1960 (Vic.) for an explanation of this term.

Capital outlays

Includes expenditure on land, and new and second-hand fixed assets.

Charges, fees and fines
  • rates and charges levied for services such as water, garbage, sewerage, permissible under section 162, Local Government Act 1989 (Vic.);
  • amounts received in respect of registrations and licences issued by councils under State Acts and by-laws, for example the Health Act 1958 (Vic.);
  • fines levied under local laws, e.g. litter, shopping trolleys, traffic infringements, parking fines; and
  • other statutory charges, fees and fines.

Current outlays

Non-capitalised expenditure including:
  • all costs (including overheads and on-costs) incurred in employing staff to undertake the operations of the council; and
  • maintenance costs of all assets and rehabilitation of roads.

  • depreciation.

Debt redemption

Repayment by councils of borrowed funds

Financial assistance

Grants from other tiers of government paid through the Victoria Grants Commission.

General purpose grants

This term is used by the Victoria Grants Commission to refer to both financial assistance and local roads funding.

Interest paid

Payments for the use of borrowed money.

Interest received

Current receipts from government balances, investments and advances.

Legal Local Government Area

Local Government Areas are spatial units used in the presentation of statistics about local government. They represent the geographical area of responsibility of incorporated local government councils.

Net annual value

Net annual value of rateable properties. See section 2 of the Valuation of Land Act 1960 (Vic.) for an explanation of this term.

Other revenue

  • contributions and donations;
  • reimbursements for maintenance works undertaken on behalf of other public bodies;
  • contributions from property owners for works undertaken; and
  • reimbursements for capital works undertaken on behalf of other public bodies, e.g. VicRoads.

Rates income

Rates levied in accordance with the Local Government Act 1989 (Vic.) and includes:
  • uniform rates;
  • differential rates;
  • special rates;
  • municipal charge; and
  • all interest/penalties charged on overdue rates.

Excludes rates and charges related to garbage and other services and related interest/penalties.


The non-repayable receipts available to finance the expenditures of local government councils.

Site value

A system of charging rates according to site value of the rateable property. See section 2 of the Valuation of Land Act 1960 (Vic.) for an explanation of this term.

Statistical Division

The Australian Standard Geographical Classification defines Statistical Divisions as the larger of the two general purpose regional types of spatial units, consisting of one or more Statistical Subdivisions covering, in aggregate, the whole of Australia without gaps or overlaps. Statistical Divisions are designed to be relatively homogeneous regions characterised by identifiable social and economic links between the inhabitants and the economic units in the region, under the unifying influence of one or more major towns or cities.

Statistical Subdivision

Statistical Subdivisions are the smaller of two Australian Standard Geographical Classification general purpose regional types of spatial units.