What is the money spent on?

Councils are required under legislation to prepare an annual budget and ‘prepare and keep up to date a long term financial plan’. These documents describe how the Council plans to spend the revenue it expects to raise. In preparing budgets, councils need to balance their obligations under the Local Government Act 2008 and the community expectations in relation to the delivery of services, maintenance of infrastructure and the operation of facilities.

 Some of the key services provided by local government include:
  • waste management
  • weed control
  • companion animal welfare and control
  • library and cultural heritage
  • civic events
  • local emergency services
  • training and employment of local people
  • maintenance and upgrade of parks and foreshores
  • maintenance and upgrade of council buildings, including depots and council offices
  • management of cemeteries
  • local roads maintenance
  • traffic management on local roads
  • fleet, plant and equipment maintenance
  • lighting for public safety including street lighting
  • night patrol
  • animal management.
Some of the key infrastructure includes:
  • roads, bridges and culverts
  • storm water drainage
  • cycle and walking paths
  • street furniture.
Some of the key facilities councils provide include:
  • public swimming pools
  • playground equipment
  • public libraries
  • halls
  • parks and sporting facilities.
Local government is also a key service delivery agent for both the NT and Australian Governments for functions such as:
  • sport and recreation activities
  • aged care
  • child care
  • safe house management
  • public housing maintenance
  • water, sewerage and electricity
The figure below shows the percent breakdown of local government expenses. It highlights that even though the source of revenue differs the functions are similar whether urban or remote.