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Funding the Future: Financial Sustainability and Infrastructure Finance in Australian Local Government
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Funding the Future: Financial Sustainability and Infrastructure Finance in Australian Local Government

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To be published 28 March 2013 (The Federation Press) PRE-ORDER NOW!
ISBN: 9781862878983. Soft Cover, 288 pages.
Description

By Brian Dollery, Michael Kortt and Bligh Grant

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. 

Funding the Future represents a pioneering attempt to comprehensively explore and assess financial sustainability in Australian local government. It focuses on Australian fiscal federalism and the place of local government in this structure, it provides a critical assessment of methodologies and findings of the various national and state public inquiries into financial sustainability in local government, it offers an exploration of ‘holistic sustainability’ as distinct from the narrower ‘financial sustainability’ in local government, and it presents a detailed assessment of different approaches to local infrastructure funding, including an Australian municipal bond market, a Commonwealth local infrastructure fund, municipal banking and an Australian municipal bond bank. While the emphasis falls squarely on Australian local government, Funding the Future draws on extensively on both the international conceptual and empirical literature. 

CONTENTS 

Introduction 

Part A: Australian Fiscal Federalism and Australian Local Government 

Australian Fiscal Federalism 

Australian Local Government Finance 

Part B: Financial Sustainability and Australian Local Government 

Public Perspectives on Financial Sustainability

Holistic Sustainability in Australian Local Government

Part C: Financing Australian Local Government Infrastructure

Australian Local Government Finance 

Commonwealth Government Infrastructure Fund 

Municipal Bond Markets 

An Australian Local Government Bond Bank 

References 

Index

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