Funding the Future: Financial Sustainability and Infrastructure Finance in Australian Local Government, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Funding the Future

Financial Sustainability and Infrastructure Finance in Australian Local Government, 1st Edition

By Brian Dollery, Michael Kortt, Bligh James Grant

Federation Press

272 pages

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For the past several decades, Australian local government has faced relentless financial pressures. In attempting to maintain service levels, most local authorities have invested too little in local infrastructure maintenance and renewal. The main symptom of this malaise has been a burgeoning infrastructure backlog, which now far exceeds the fiscal capacity of a majority of councils. Various remedial policy measures have been espoused to relieve this financial distress, most notably structural reform programs based on forced mergers. However, compulsory consolidation has failed to achieve its intended aims, and financial unsustainability has become more acute. Obviously other avenues must now be pursued if Australian local government is to remain viable.

Table of Contents

Part A: Australian Fiscal Federalism and Australian Local Government Australian Fiscal Federalism Introduction The Australian federal system of government Public finance Vertical fiscal imbalance Horizontal fiscal equalisation Concluding remarks

Australian Local Government Finance Introduction Local government expenditure Local government revenue Financial Assistance Grants Concluding remarks

Part B: Financial Sustainability and Australian Local Government

Public Perspectives on Financial Sustainability Introduction Financial reform and financial sustainability Policy and practice implications for financial sustainability Holistic Sustainability in Australian Local Government Introduction Meaning of sustainability Tensions between local government democracy and local government efficiency Academic approaches to sustainability in local government

Local government failure Holistic sustainability in local government Concluding remarks

Part C: Financing Australian Local Government Infrastructure

Australian Local Government Finance Introduction Commonwealth infrastructure funding of local government Concluding remarks Commonwealth Government Infrastructure Fund Introduction Roads to Recovery and the nation building economic stimulus plan The case for a Commonwealth asset fund Evaluation

Concluding remarks Municipal Bond Markets

Introduction Local infrastructure renewal in New South Wales US municipal infrastructure finance Rationale for asset-backed securities Asset-backed securities by local water utilities Concluding remarks An Australian Local Government Bond Bank Introduction Municipal banking

Municipal bond banks Case studies Concluding remarks

About the Authors

Brian Dollery is Professor of Economics and Director of the Centre for Local Government at the University of New England. He has previously held academic positions at the University of South Africa, Rhodes University, and the University of Cape Town in the Republic of South Africa, East Carolina State University and Creighton University in the United States, and Yokohama National University in Japan.

Michael Kortt is Senior Lecturer in Applied Economics at Southern Cross University (SCU). He holds a PhD in economics from the University of New England, an MS from the University of Arizona, and an honours degree in economics from La Trobe University.Prior to joining SCU, Michael spent 10 years working in the government sector as a research manager for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, and the Department of Health and Ageing.

Bligh Grant is Lecturer in Business Ethics at the UNE Business School and a member of the UNE Centre for Local Government. He holds a PhD in Local Government Studies from the University of New England. Dr Grant is a former Associate Lecturer in Political Economy at the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba and has held several research-only appointments at UNE over several years in a variety of fields.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology