I am pleased to present the 2018 Annual Report of the Western Australian Local Government Grants Commission.
The Commission visited 35 local governments during 2017-18 and I would like to thank them all for their willingness to participate in the public hearing process. The hearings provide an opportunity to understand local government needs and challenges which in turn shape the grants methodology and are considered when the grant allocations are calculated each year. The Commission maintains a valuable high profile in undertaking its annual visiting program, covering many thousands of kilometres and visiting all of WA's local governments on a four-five year rotational basis.
As the Commission is also responsible for the Indian Ocean Territories, this year provided the opportunity to visit Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island. It was a very interesting experience and it provided the Commission with a far greater understanding of the unique circumstances the Shires face.
In 2017-18, the Commission continued its program of methodological review and improvement. Reviews were undertaken on the population dispersion cost adjustor, regional centres cost adjustor, socio-economic cost adjustor as well as refinements to the data used in the climate cost adjustor and growth cost adjustors. Data was also updated to reflect the 2016 census data becoming available. The Commission is continuing to research the impact of non-resident populations more broadly due to ongoing submissions regarding the impact of tourism and FIFO workers and intends to survey local governments on the impact of dispersed populations.
I would like to thank all the Commissioners and the staff for their hard work over the past 12 months. In particular, a number of new Commissioners and Deputies have been appointed, following the departure of some longer term members in 2017.
I would like to welcome each one of them and trust that they will find the work of the Commission interesting and fulfilling.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge the executive staff who continue to provide high level support to the Commission throughout the year. Your assistance helps us to operate in an efficient and effective manner. To Julie Knight, James Harmer, Shannon Wood and Chris Berry, we appreciate your dedication and professionalism.
The Hon Paul Omodei
Chairman - WA Local Government Grants Commission