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

    Mayors and councillors mastering financial sustainability

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

    Thursday, October 15, 2009

    Mayors and councillors mastering financial sustainability

    Mayors and councillors from across far north Queensland are in Cairns tomorrow for the Bligh Government’s third financial management master class for local councils to help them become more financially savvy, Local Government Minister Desley Boyle said.

    “These days ratepayers are demanding more from their councils and so the one-day master class in Cairns is designed to help mayors and councillors gain the skills to plan and manage council finances,” Ms Boyle said.

    “More than 40 mayors and councillors from 15 councils across far north Queensland, including Cairns, Tablelands, Cassowary Coast, and Townsville, are attending.

    “Over the next three years alone, we are spending more than $430 million to help local government build essential community infrastructure – from water infrastructure to community halls – and keep Queensland’s economy moving,” she said.

    “It is important that these assets are managed for today and for the future and that their full cost, including depreciation, is accounted for.”

    Ms Boyle said the master class – one of three being held in Queensland – would help ensure councillors were able to fulfill their obligations under the Bligh Government’s Sustainability and Reporting initiative which is helping councils achieve better planning, asset management and sustainability outcomes.

    “It is critical that all elected representatives take the management of key public assets seriously, understanding that best-practice financial management and sustainability go far beyond simply voting through an annual budget,” she said.

    “The new National Frameworks for Local Government stipulate that all councils across Australia must have asset management plans in place for all asset classes by December 2010.

    “An audit of 57 mainland councils found there were 18 different asset classes managed by councils across Queensland. The average for a council is 13 asset classes, however, most councils are lucky to have asset management plans for even two of these.”

    The master class will feature presentations from the Queensland Treasury Corporation, the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia and the Department of Infrastructure and Planning.

    Media Contact: Minister Boyle’s Office 3227 8819