By now, most local governments have adopted their annual budgets in order to meet the 1 August deadline imposed by the Local Government Regulation 2012 (Qld) (LGR). As we know, this time of year sees higher levels of community engagement and discussion than normal.
A contributing factor to the engagement levels may have something to do with the sometimes technical nature of the documents that a local government is obliged to prepare and publish. Fortunately, since its inception in 2012, the LGR recognizes this and provides for the all-important community financial report.
Section 179 of the LGR provides for the preparation of a community financial report. A community financial report must be prepared for each financial year. The report must:
- Contain a summary and an analysis of the local government’s financial performance and position for the financial year;
- Be consistent with the general purpose financial statement for the financial year;
- Include the relevant measures of financial sustainability for the financial year; and
- Be written in a way that can be easily understood by the community.
The community financial report is intended to be a more readily and widely understood version of the statements that a local government is required to prepare in accordance with section 176 of the LGR. The community financial report must be included in the local government’s annual report which, according to section 182(4) of the LGR, must be published on its website within 2 weeks of being adopted.
Section 199 of the LGR also makes clear that the public has a right to inspect the community financial report, and a range of other financial reports, at the local government’s office as well as the local government’s website. Members of the public also have the right to purchase a copy of the report and any other documents.
Have questions about your Council’s compliance with the LGR? Talk to our Team today on (07) 4052 0700.