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    Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
    The Honourable Desley Boyle

    Mayors, councillors to join ‘financial master class’: Minister

    Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
    The Honourable Desley Boyle

    Wednesday, July 22, 2009

    Mayors, councillors to join ‘financial master class’: Minister

    Local Government Minister Desley Boyle has today announced Mayors and Councillors would be given timely updates on best practice in financial and asset management in a series of State Government-organised workshops.

    Ms Boyle has committed to hosting three workshops for Mayors and Councillors from 73 councils across the State. These will be held in different locations between September and October this year.

    “It is imperative councils take the management of their key assets seriously and understand that financial management and sustainability goes way beyond simply voting through this year’s budget,” Ms Boyle said.

    “All councils have valuable road networks, water and sewerage resources, buildings and community facilities – these need to be carefully managed into the future for the benefit of residents,” she said.

    “Without asset management plans, councils risk failing to properly account for the very real costs of operating, maintaining and replacing their valuable assets.

    “If local governments do not strategically manage their assets within known and projected funding sources, they could be seriously undermining the future sustainability of their councils.

    “The Australian Government has indicated all councils need to have asset management plans in place for all asset classes by December 2010.”

    Ms Boyle said the State Department of Infrastructure and Planning, in conjunction with key industry stakeholders, would facilitate a statewide improvement strategy, with the workshops being a solid start.

    There would be more detailed monitoring of council sustainability, building on information already collected annually including asset management and community engagement.

    Ms Boyle said results for 2009 were a mixed bag, with some councils in a strong position and others requiring immediate assistance.

    “The Bligh Government is delivering on our commitment to build stronger councils and sustainability in financial management is a priority,” said the Minister.

    “The upcoming workshops will be practical and timely ahead of the new Local Government Act (2009) coming into force later this year. The legislation will introduce new requirements, such as the need for community and asset management plans.

    “These inaugural Financial Management and Sustainability workshops for specifically for elected members will promote good-practice in financial management and will be delivered in conjunction with Queensland Treasury Corporation.”

    Topics to be covered at the workshop include:

    ·Requirements of the new Local Government Act 2009;

    ·Importance of integrated council planning, community engagement and community planning, asset management planning;

    ·Use of debt by local councils and long-term financial planning.

    Ms Boyle said the workshops would run for a day and be held in a south east, central and

    a northern location, with a council from each region being invited to host the conference by providing a venue.

    Dates and venues are currently being decided and councils will shortly be issued with invitations.

    Media Contact: Minister Boyle’s Office 3227 8819