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Too Tough a Nut to Crack: Determining Fiscal Sustainability in Australian Local Government

  • Year: 2007
  • Author: Dollery, Brian; Byrnes, Joel; Crase, Lin
  • Journal Name: Australasian Journal of Regional Studies, The
  • Journal Number: Vol. 13, No. 2
  • Country: Australia
  • State/Region: South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia

The problem of determining the financial sustainability of local councils in Australia has attracted the attention of five recent official inquiries into local government. This paper considers the work of these public inquiries in South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and the nation-wide assessment by PriceWaterHouseCoopers on the financial sustainability of local authorities. It is argued that despite reliance on a common method, not only has no generally agreed approach has been achieved, but that the inherent difficulties in designing a satisfactory method of measuring sustainability make any consensus in future most unlikely.

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