SA Councils - for the runs walks and rides
Like to start your day with an early morning run?
Or perhaps you prefer to don the lycra and join the ‘cafe racers’. Either way, you’ve probably never stopped to consider the difference your local council makes to the experience.
Councils maintain local roads, create bike lanes, construct walking and cycling trails, provide street lighting and even supply the odd park bench for when you need a rest!
In fact, South Australian councils manage over 75,000kms of local roads, and invested $341million (or 17% of their combined annual budgets) in maintaining and renewing roads, footpaths and kerbing in 2014/15. Councils also spent an additional $134 million on street lighting, stormwater management and environmental services.
Pounding the pavement not your thing? Perhaps you’re involved with one of the hundreds of sporting clubs that are based in council-owned facilities. It’s estimated that local government in Australia spends more on sport and recreation than state and federal government combined. In SA alone, councils invested a whopping $288million in 2014/15.
To find out what’s available in your council area visit your council website.
Have you ever considered how everyday life is improved by the many services councils provide?
Councils are responsible for delivering hundreds of services and facilities that contribute to building strong and vibrant communities. As part of this councils look after about $22 billion of public assets.
A snapshot of the services and facilities provided by South Australian councils includes:
| street lighting │ arts and culture programs │bushfire prevention │ caravan parks │ cemeteries │ coastal care initiatives │ community buses │ community centres │ wetlands │ development and planning services │ dog and cat management │ disability services │ economic development initiatives │ environmental programs │ events │ footpath maintenance │ heritage activities │ immunisation clinics │ libraries │ museums │ roads │ men’s sheds │ footy and soccer ovals │ netball and tennis courts │ aged care services │ playgrounds │ public pools │ recycling facilities │ skate parks │ stormwater drains│
For more facts and figures, Local Government in Profile provides a snapshot of local government in SA.
These services and facilities rely on the rates collected from ratepayers within a council’s boundaries. Council rates are a form of taxation, and as the main source of funding for councils, they’re essential in enabling them to deliver the services and facilities that your community relies on.
Council rates make up about 70% of the revenue received by councils. The remaining 30% is made up of government grants, user fees and other funding.
For an average Australian household council rates equate to around $3.50 per day (or $25 per week). This represents just under 2% of the average weekly household expenditure of $1200. And in return, ratepayers have access to hundreds of services and facilities.
Council rates are only a fraction of the total taxes paid by Australians – less than 4% in fact. Meanwhile, the federal government collects approximately 80% of the taxes that Australians pay, while state government collects about 16%.
Some of the tax revenue that is collected by federal, state and local government is shared or passed on between the different spheres of government. For example, councils receive Financial Assistance Grants from the federal government to support local communities, and the state government supports councils through a range of grant programs. Some of the revenue collected by councils, such as the NRM levy, is required to be passed back to the state government.
Even with support from federal and state government, councils still only receive 4.5% of all taxes collected.